Nunavut MLAs want details on fixing Baffin Correctional Centre
'A maximum-security facility should not be made of plywood,' said deputy minister of justice
Nunavut MLAs wanted details on how and when the justice department will improve services for inmates and staff in the territory's correctional facilities, as a hearing on the auditor general's recent report on corrections continued Wednesday.
Michael Ferguson, the auditor general of Canada, was in Iqaluit for Day 2 of questions related to his report which found Nunavut's notorious Baffin Correctional Centre puts inmates and staff at risk.
- Assaults at BCC tripled in 10 years, partly due to overcrowding: AG
- Nunavut jail a risk to safety of inmates and staff: auditor general
On Tuesday, Ferguson said overcrowding at Nunavut's notorious Baffin Correctional Centre has lead to more violence in the facility.
MLA Joe Enook told the hearing Wednesday that the jail has been a problem for too long.
"In the report, it says 20 years now we have known what needs to be fixed," he said in Inuktitut.
Elizabeth Sanderson, deputy minister of Justice, said the problems are glaring.
"A maximum-security facility should not be made of plywood," she said. "It's as simple as that."
She said there are two ways to solve the issue: build a new facility or fix the BCC. Either solution will be expensive.
"We're not talking about a few thousand dollars or a few million dollars," she said. "We're talking about a significant infusion of funds."
Despite several requests from MLAs, the department said it could not put a specific number to that cost. The department says it should have its recommendations ready for the fall sitting of the legislature.
CBC Nunavut's Elyse Skura tweeted live from the event.