SEFPO Fonction Publique de l'Ontario

OPSEU President demands immediate apology from Corrections Minister

TORONTO — The President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union is demanding that Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur immediately apologize for statements made in the Ontario Legislature that correctional staff at London's Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC) aren't properly doing their jobs.

Warren (Smokey) Thomas is infuriated that the Minister would try to blame the women and men, who put their lives on the line every day, for a rash of assaults on staff over the past three days.

"That Minister Meilleur would have the gall to accuse correctional officers for safety problems in the facility just proves how out of her depth she is," Thomas said.

In response to opposition questions Tuesday, Meilleur stated that staff are not properly doing their jobs, allowing for drugs and weapons to come in the facility, and that management is not to blame.

"This jail has a long and documented history of dangerous overcrowding and understaffing, and the Minister blames the correctional officers?" Thomas said. "Last fall, the Minister put a plan in place to fix this facility, and so far it's only gotten worse=. If that's the best the Minister's managers can do, then it's time for Meilleur to step aside and let someone run this Ministry who knows what they are doing."  

Thomas asks the Minister do the right thing and immediately apologize for her statements today.

"Minister Meilleur needs to say she is sorry for her accusations, and make a pledge that she will fix the problems at EMDC instead of blaming the officers for her Ministry's failures." Thomas said. "Anything less is a slap in the face to the officers and everything they risk to do their jobs protecting the people of Ontario."

More information:
Warren (Smokey) Thomas 416 443-8888

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