MPP BAILEY CREDITS A UNITED COMMUNITY FOR SAVING SARNIA JAIL
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SARNIA, ON– On Monday, Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey joined with members of the Sarnia Save the Jail Committee to hear Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Madeleine Meilleur, announce that the government has reversed its decision and the Sarnia Jail will now remain open.
“Today’s announcement is a testament to the tireless advocacy by the Sarnia Save the Jail Committee and everyone in the community who voiced their opposition to this Liberal government’s decision to close the jail,” said MPP Bailey. “The decision to close the Sarnia Jail was short-sighted, did not make economic sense and did not fit within a strategy to meet Ontario’s correctional needs.”
The surprise closure of the Sarnia Jail was announced in the Liberal government’s March 2011 budget without any government consultation with the local community or jail officials. The lack of this supporting evidence became abundantly clear following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request for the cost-benefit analysis of the Sarnia Jail Closure. The FOI request, filed by MPP Bailey, returned 800 pages of redundant, blanked-out emails revealing that the Liberal government was more concerned with political government talking points than a solid decision for the community and the province’s correctional responsibilities.
“I hosted the Sarnia Save the Jail Committee for a number of meetings with two different Ministers representing Community Safety and Correctional Services, and at no point could those Ministers produce any costing data that indicated there would be a cost savings to the province by closing the jail,” added MPP Bailey. “The Save the Jail Committee had the facts all along. Taxiing inmates hundreds of kilometers back and forth to prisons around the province would cost millions of tax dollars per year and saddle our valuable police resources with chauffer duties. The surprise decision to close the jail never made sense.”
MPP Bailey concluded, “I am immensely proud of how our community of Sarnia-Lambton has pulled together to save the Sarnia Jail. Today is an example of what our community can do when we are united.”
For more information, contact:
David Donovan | 416-325-1715 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.bobbaileympp.com