Elizabeth May: With regard to the response that the Minister of Public Safety gave to Q-471 (40th Parliament, 3rd session), indicating that Correctional Service Canada (CSC) would be submitting a long-term accommodation strategy and investment plan to Cabinet for consideration in March 2011, and given that the government stated in Budget 2012 that it had no intention of building new prisons: (a) how many regional complexes did CSC recommend building as part of this project plan, and how many units and prisoners did CSC recommend each complex house; (b) where did CSC recommend building these regional complexes as part of this project plan and what were the criteria for the selection of the proposed locations; (c) what were the total capital costs associated with designing, constructing, financing, operating, and maintaining these complexes per annum and over their projected life-cycle; (d) what was the date recommended by CSC to begin implementation of this project plan and when did CSC anticipate that these facilities would come online if their proposed timelines were followed; (e) does the government plan to move forward with this project plan and, if not, what are the grounds for rejecting this project plan?
Hon. Vic Toews: Mr. Speaker, maintaining appropriate infrastructure that fits the needs of a first-class, modern correctional system is key to public safety.
On April 19, 2012, the government announced it will close operations at two sites: Kingston Penitentiary and the Regional Treatment Centre in Kingston, Ontario, and Leclerc Institution in Laval, Quebec. These are aging facilities with infrastructure that does not lend itself well to the challenges of managing the institutional routines of today’s complex offender population. The decommissioning of this aging infrastructure will enable CSC to achieve cost savings while ensuring public safety.
Meanwhile, CSC has been working to add more than 2,700 beds to men’s and women’s facilities across Canada within existing institutions. These institutional expansions will provide a more effective, efficient and sustainable physical infrastructure.
Details on infrastructure renewal at the Correctional Service of Canada are available at http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/about-us/006-0008-eng.shtml.
Budget 2012 was clear; the government has not built a single new prison since 2006 and has no intention of building any new prisons.