North

Nunavut MLAs want details on fixing Baffin Correctional Centre

Nunavut MLAs wanted details on how and when the justice department will improve services for inmates and staff at the Baffin Correctional Centre, as a hearing on the auditor general's recent report on corrections continued Wednesday.

'A maximum-security facility should not be made of plywood,' said deputy minister of justice

Auditor General Michael Ferguson is in Iqaluit this week to answer questions about a scathing report on corrections in Nunavut. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

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.

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.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now