December 8th, 2015

Liberal government’s failure in corrections leads to hostage situation in Thunder Bay jail: NDP

Oshawa MPP and NDP Community Safety and Correctional Services Critic Jennifer French called on the Liberal government to take responsibility for the crisis in corrections following a hostage situation at the Thunder Bay Jail last night.

“Our jails are plagued by fires, floods, broken cell door locks, understaffing and overcrowding,” said French. “Now we have had a violent hostage situation.”

French noted to the Minister that this is one of many incidents that have been ignored during contract negotiations as conditions continue to decline.

“This morning correctional staff and parole officers across this province will start voting on a contract that, if voted down, will put this province one step closer to a strike or lockout in our jails,” said French, noting that the government used unqualified mangers from other government ministries to staff facilities during the last labour dispute in the province. “Does the Premier really want unqualified managers from various ministries like finance, the environment, or the treasury board running our jails?”   

French commended the correctional officers and crisis teams for their handling of the situation, and for securing the safety of the correctional officer who was held hostage for four hours following a violent takeover of a section of the jail.

“This government keeps corrections out of sight and out of mind,” said French. “Will the Minister take responsibility for the violent situation in Thunder Bay?”