More safety concerns have surfaced about the Baffin Correctional Centre following the dismissal of Nunavut fire marshal Tony Noakes, who has called the overcrowded jail hazardous.
Noakes moved out of Iqaluit on Thursday, after he was fired as the territory's fire marshal earlier in the week.
His termination letter from the Nunavut government stated that Noakes was unsuitable for the job, but Noakes said he believes he was fired because he complained repeatedly about the Iqaluit jail failing to address a number of fire code violations.
Noakes had filed a complaint with the RCMP on Friday about conditions at the jail, and was fired three days later.
Since Noakes's firing, a jail guard has told CBC News that the Baffin Correctional Centre is a death trap caused by chronic neglect.
The guard, who did not want to be identified out of fear he would lose his job, said Noakes is a hero for raising concerns about the jail.
Double the inmates
There are currently 102 inmates in a jail designed to hold 48, Noakes said. As well, he noted plywood walls and Gyproc are being used to separate rooms and prevent fires from spreading.
But despite sending multiple reports to senior government managers, Noakes said nothing was done.
Noakes said he has been receiving messages of support from fire officials across the country, commending him for standing up to his superiors.
But prior to flying home to Ontario on Thursday, Noakes said he felt bittersweet about leaving Nunavut.
"I feel like I let people down by not being able to follow through," he told CBC News.
"I'm hoping that someone will come up here, they will find someone to fix these problems and better things will happen down the road."
Overcrowding a familiar issue
Nunavut's justice officials are aware of the overcrowded conditions at the Baffin Correctional Centre. Corrections director Doug Strader gave CBC News a tour of the jail in February to draw attention to the issue.
During that tour, Strader said he had serious concerns about the condition of the facility, and whether everyone would be able to get out of the building safely in case of a fire.
Noakes said Strader had asked him in November to sign a letter of support, urging the territorial government to repair the aging jail.
But Noakes said he was ordered not to sign the letter, and said he believed he would have lost his job if he did.
"I was told that the office of the fire marshal will not sway what the government wants to do," Noakes said.
Despite repeated requests by CBC News for comment, the Nunavut government has refused to answer questions about Noakes's firing or about conditions at the Baffin Correctional Centre.