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Thursday, May 5, 2011

More Support for Jails

Georgian Bluffs | by Bayshore News Staff  

Georgian Bluffs supports OPSEU in keeping jails open, asking for new larger facility.

Georgian Bluffs Council is supporting the fight to keep the local jails open.

A number of jail guards visited council last night (WED) to voice their struggle against the provincial government's plan to close the jails in Owen Sound and Walkerton.

Derek Shypit (rhymes with skype-it) spoke on behalf of OPSEU Local 224 and asked for council's support in the fight.

It was noted that closing the jails and moving the guards and prisoners to Penetanguishene would result in an annual hit of nearly 7 million dollars to the local economy.

Shypit points out if the jails close -- it will leave Stratford as the only community north of the 401 and west of Collingwood with a jail.

Shypit says to leave such a huge geographic area without a nearby jail makes no sense economically or socially -- and would be disastrous.

Council was told that more than 10 per cent of the staff at the Owen Sound jail live in Georgian Bluffs.

Council unanimously agreed to support the fight and will send a letter to the province announcing its opposition to the jail closures.

Mayor Alan Barfoot says the township will also be represented at a town hall meeting next Wednesday that is being held to protest the closures.

Guards say they want to see the province build a new facility somewhere in Grey-Bruce to replace the two local jails.

Shypit notes since a provincial election is coming up this fall, the Liberal government would do well to listen to OPSEU's demands.

The Liberals were decimated across the country in the federal election this week, winning only 11 of the 106 ridings in Ontario.


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