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Apr 12, 2000

Sampson going to Penetanguishene…finally

After months of playing "Where’s Waldo" with the citizens of Penetanguishene, Corrections Minister Rob Sampson will finally grace the town with his presence.

Sampson has agreed to attend a public meeting in Penetang on Tuesday, April 18, 2000 at 7:00 p.m. at the Brian Orser Hall, 59 Maria St., Penetanguishene.

The Public Liaison Committee in Penetang has been demanding that the Minister come to town since the announcement of privatization plans last November. Until last week, the Minister had refused to make a commitment.

It is expected that the meeting will be standing room only as citizens from Penetang gather to hear Sampson defend his decision to renege on a publicly-run institution. Not surprisingly, Sampson is sticking to his "union misinformation" spin, which has infuriated local residents.

"He must think that we’re too stupid to do our own research on this subject," said Sharon Dion, chair of Citizens Against Private Prisons. "We have the intelligence to make informed decisions about the information we receive, regardless of the source."

It would appear that Mr. Sampson has an affinity for giving people very little credit. But then, correctional officers already know that.

Anti-privatization bill introduced at Queen’s Park

Over 70 citizens from Penetanguishene and Lindsay arrived by bus at the Legislature on Tuesday, April 10, 2000 to witness the introduction of a private member’s bill to prevent the privatization of correctional services in Ontario.

NDP corrections critic Peter Kormos introduced "A Bill to Amend the Ministry of Correctional Services Act" while community members looked on from the gallery.

Prior to the bill’s introduction, Kormos and NDP leader Howard Hampton staged a press conference on the front steps of the Legislature that received province-wide coverage. Sharon Dion from C.A.P.P. in Penetanguishene held her own against pointed questions from the media, and Peter Kormos urged the citizens to stay the course and continue the fight against privatized corrections.

During Question Period, Hampton asked the Corrections Minister if their government would support the anti-privatization bill. Sampson’s canned response about reducing costs and enhancing security with a private operator drew weak applause from the Tory side of the house, especially among the back-benchers who barely won their ridings in the last election.

More communities take a stand

We can now add the City of Guelph, and the townships of Nipigon and Red Rock near Thunder Bay to the list of communities that have said no to privatized correctional services.

Thanks go out to Dennis Jamieson of Local 233 (Guelph C.C.) and our anti-privatization wizard of the far north, Len Mason of Local 737 (Thunder Bay Jail) for their hard work.

Note to all locals: We need as many council resolutions opposing privatization as possible. If you haven’t already done so, please arrange these presentations at once. When it comes to supporting the private member’s bill at Queen’s Park, these resolutions are worth their weight in gold.

Corrections at the 2000 Convention

Watch for this Friday’s Lock Talk for a wrap up of the issues affecting Corrections at last week’s convention.

For campaign information, call Don Ford (ext. 716) or Carol Whitehead (ext. 356) at

1-800-268-7376 or (416) 443-8888. e-mail: dford@opseu.org or cwhitehead@opseu.org

Ontario Public Service Employees Union
100 Lesmill Road, Toronto, Ontario M3B 3P8

www.opseu.org opseu@opseu.org

Original authorized for distribution by Leah Casselman, president.

 

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