Anywhere but Baffin Correctional Centre, lawyer asks

Defence lawyer David Berg asked a Nunavut court judge yesterday if his client can serve his sentence anywhere but the notorious Baffin Correctional Centre.
The Baffin Correctional Centre in Iqaluit. In 2012, the building was cited for more than 40 fire code 'deficiencies', including blocked fire exits and malfunctioning fire extinguishers. A report released last week found conditions at the jail 'appalling' and called for it to be closed. (Vincent Desrosiers/CBC)

In an Iqaluit courtroom yesterday, defence lawyer David Berg asked the judge if his client could serve his sentence anywhere except the Baffin Correctional Centre.  

Last week, a report from the Federal Office of the Correctional Investigator said conditions at the jail were appalling and it should be shut down.

Berg later got specific, asking the judge if his client could serve his sentence at the Rankin Inlet Healing Facility instead of the Baffin Correctional Centre.

Berg told the court Moses Meeko would not get the programs he needs to address his jealousy and anger issues at BCC.

Meeko, 31, of Sanikiluaq, pleaded guilty yesterday to assaulting a woman in his community in March and to several breaches of his probation.

He was sentenced to almost 11 months in jail, plus two years probation.

At the time of the assault, Meeko was on a probation order to stay away from the woman.

The latest offence came just five days after he was released from the Iqaluit jail, where he was serving time for a previous assault against the same person.

Justice Rene Foisy said he does not have the power to choose where a person serves their sentence. That is done by Corrections, which in this case would be the corrections division of the Nunavut government’s Department of Justice.

But Foisy did agree to recommend Meeko serve his time at the Rankin facility.

He also imposed the mandatory victim surcharge of $400.

Meeko has one year to pay the fine after being released.

It's not the first time a lawyer in the territory has requested their client not serve time in the BCC.