QUEEN’S PARK— “The Minister of Corrections is demonstrating a complete lack of understanding and glaring inability to manage the important provincial corrections portfolio a core responsibility of government,” said Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey on Wednesday at Queen’s Park.

MPP Bailey made the comments after Madeleine Meilleur, the Liberal Minister of Corrections, suggested that the ongoing violence, drug use, and deplorable conditions at London’s Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre were the result of Corrections Officers not doing their job.

The Minister of Corrections let her true feelings be known after Elgin-Middlesex MPP Jeff Yurek asked if the Minister regretted closing jails in Ontario, and adding extra pressure to the already overcrowded and violent EMDC. Minister Meilleur shot back with her accusations saying, “…one question that I need answered is, who is not doing his job when there are drugs going into facility? Who is not doing their job when there are knives going into the facility?”

After Corrections Officers in Ontario loudly objected to the Minister’s accusations, the Minister released a statement full of empty talk and lacking an apology or retraction for her inflammatory comments made earlier in the day. “After more than two years on the job, this Minister has done nothing but blame others for the problems her government has created at EMDC, if she thinks the correctional officers are to blame for the tragic conditions at that jail than she needs to step aside immediately.”

“At the end of the day we know that Ontario’s Correctional System is overcrowded and we know that this has resulted in increased violence and dangerous living and working conditions for our frontline Correctional Officers. This situation has even resulted in some deaths. This government has not only
refused to plan for Ontario’s growing inmate population but they have closed jails which has exacerbated the problem.”

“At the end of the day, I think it’s clear the person not doing their job is the Minister of Corrections,” said MPP Bailey.


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