January 31st, 2020

Infrastructure Ontario reveals dangerous delay to Thunder Bay Correctional Complex

QUEEN’S PARK — Infrastructure Ontario’s latest market update reveals an indefinite delay to the Thunder Bay Correctional Complex, meaning that the safety of Thunder Bay families, correctional workers and inmates is being kicked down the road, again.

The Request for Proposals for the Thunder Bay Correctional Complex was originally slated to be issued by spring 2019. In an update from Infrastructure Ontario yesterday, the date was changed to “TBD.”

“The safety and security problems at the Thunder Bay Jail and the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre are serious,” said Judith Monteith-Farrell, NDP MPP for Thunder Bay—Atikokan. “The previous Liberal government neglected this problem for years, and now the Ford government is doing the same. It’s not safe for our community, for the corrections staff, and for inmates to have the government to keep ignoring the issue of dangerously outdated corrections facilities.”

The project in question would address longstanding safety and security problems by combining the Thunder Bay Jail and the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre into a single complex, with updated facilities.

The Thunder Bay Correctional Complex project is being procured with a public-private partnership model, in which private financiers assume control of the project. The NDP has opposed the P3 model because it costs more and takes longer.