QUEEN’S PARK – The problems at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre will not go away without decisive action by the Minister in charge was the message MPP Jeff Yurek conveyed in Question Period today following a weekend attack on a guard at the jail.
“Minister, will a guard have to die at Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre before you finally take action?” Yurek asked during his exchange with the Minister for Community Safety and Correctional Services Madeleine Meilleur.
MPP Yurek has written a number of letters and met with the Minister and her staff to outline the issues at EMDC. Last August, the Minister committed to the implementation of a 12-point action plan. However, reports from other stakeholders outside the Ministry have indicated progress on this plan has been slow.
“Delays endanger the staff and the inmates,” remarked Yurek. “The situation at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre has deteriorated and inaction on the part of the Minister puts safety in jeopardy and lives at risk.”
Among a number of problems, broken metal pieces from lighting fixtures damaged in a near riot earlier this year have yet to be recovered. This kind of debris can be fashioned into a weapon to be used against guards. While EMDC has newly purchased metal detectors, the staff claims that the Ministry has failed to provide the training necessary to operate them.
“This is just one example of mismanagement at this jail on the part of the Minister. I have expressed my willingness to work with the Minister to resolve this issue but it takes commitment on her part. So far, the Ministry’s inaction demonstrates to me a lack of will.”
To see the video of MPP Yurek’s question, click on the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLHfYyzlPzo&feature=youtu.be.
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