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December 10, 1999
Chatham angling for superjail
The Municipality of Chatham-Kent has been cosying up to the provincial government in hopes of being the site for a southwestern Ontario superjail.

Two municipal directors wrote to their boss, Chief Administrative Officer Hugh Thomas, in May. Here’s what they had to report:

"The Solicitor-General’s office advised that Southwestern Ontario is expected to come under review in late 1999 and a proactive stance by Chatham-Kent would enhance our prospects of securing a facility.... In discussions with the Ministry, a 400-bed facility servicing Chatham-Kent, Windsor-Essex, Sarnia and Lambton is envisaged. We believe that based on our central location within this region and our excellent access via highway 401 and highway 40, Chatham-Kent is well positioned to secure this facility."

News of the move did not sit well with Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley. "It would have an extremely negative impact financially and socially on Sarnia and Windsor if this proposal was accepted," he wrote to Windsor Mayor Mike Hurst Nov. 3.

Bradley called on Hurst to join a working group to look at "other options."

A September memo to the new Chief Administrative Officer, Joe Pavelka, passed on the news that "because of the change in Minister and Ministerial staff, the review of Southwestern Ontario has been delayed to January 2000."

Is the Township of Matheson angling, too?
We believe that a review of the Northern Region has already been completed. There is a rumour that the Township of Matheson has been talking to the government about being a future "super-jail" site. This is a rumour only. If you live in the Township, you can help track it down. Please call your local councillors and ask them this: Is the Township of Matheson talking to the Ontario government about locating a superjail in the area? If so, are any private companies being considered to operate it? Has council spoken to any private companies about operating it?"

Minister sweats
Apparently our Minister of Corrections, Rob Sampson, found out courtesy of the Toronto Sun that 73 of his senior managers had gone to a luxury resort for two days and two nights to discuss "cost efficiencies." Sampson, a former banker, prides himself on his "business-like" approach to government. Seventy-three managers are a lot of managers to lose for two whole days. Thank heavens the Sun was around to help find them. Stay tuned for more amazing revelations.

 Don Ford to fill in as campaign coordinator
OPSEU staffer Carol Whitehead took ill early this week and will not be back at work until January at the earliest. Don Ford, a Correctional Officer from Local 517 (Toronto West), will fill in for Carol in the interim.

Brother Ford starts work on Monday, Dec. 13 and can be reached at Carol’s extension: 1-800-268-7376 ext. 356 or (416) 443-8888 ext. 356.

Conference calls rescheduled
Conference calls with all corrections units were delayed this week but have been rescheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 14 and Wednesday, Dec. 15. Information packages to help fight privatization were also held up. We hope to have them out Monday or Tuesday.

Campaign budget approved
Late-breaking news: the OPSEU Executive Board has approved a significant budget for the anti-privatization battle. Details from your board member.

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