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30 inmates from Baffin Correctional Centre relocated to Ontario after fire

The Nunavut government says 30 inmates were transferred to a prison in Kingston, Ont. late last week after a fire at the Baffin Correctional Centre.

Dozens of other inmates relocated to other facilities within Nunavut, justice department says

The Baffin Correctional Centre pictured in a 2018 file photo. (Michael Salomonie/CBC)

Inmates at the Baffin Correctional Centre in Iqaluit have been relocated to Ontario after a fire last week, according to a news release issued by the Nunavut government on Tuesday.

Last Thursday, a fire broke out at the facility based in Iqaluit. At the time, the territory's justice department described it as an "ongoing emergency," even after the fire was extinguished.

"Due to the quick actions of facility staff and first responders, no one was injured during the fire at the Baffin Correctional Centre," said Minister of Justice George Hickes in a statement.

After the incident, the territory said Tuesday it was able to find temporary accommodations for the inmates with the help of RCMP V Division, the Nunavut Court of Justice Sheriffs and the other correctional facilities within Iqaluit.

Within 24 hours of the fire, Nunavut's Department of Justice says it found "suitable relocations" for the inmates — 30 of whom have been transferred to a designated unit at the Joyceville Institution in Kingston, Ont. late last week.

The territory says the Joyceville facility has been free of COVID-19 since Feb. 26.

The other 30 inmates have been placed in other correctional facilities within the territory. Relatives of inmates are going to be provided with updated contact information for their loved ones, the release says.

"I want to thank everyone involved in helping to resolve this situation, and ensuring the safety and security of staff and inmates at all times," Hickes said.

Meanwhile, maintenance crews are assessing the damage to the Baffin facility. Remediation plans are also underway to determine a timeline for reopening.

Last week, the department said RCMP were investigating the fire.

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