OPSEU calls for a meeting to deal with the threat COVID-19 poses to Corrections


TORONTO – OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas wants an immediate meeting with provincial government officials and the Chief Medical Officer of Health to address the growing crisis that COVID-19 poses to corrections workers and inmates.

The pandemic is threatening provincial correctional facilities, and Thomas says it is time for Corrections Ministry officials to act.

“This threat needs to be nipped in the bud before it gets out of hand,” said Thomas. “Correctional institutions can be a petri dish in terms of spreading infection, and I’m worried the reaction to this threat has been too sluggish. We need to get ahead of the danger.”

The health and safety of both correctional staff and inmates in facilities is at risk and a clear and well thought plan is needed. “We need to get the folks making decisions at the ministry level in a room with the medical experts who know what needs to be done to keep everyone in institutions safe,” said Thomas.

“Our correctional facilities were already under enormous pressure and strain long before COVID-19 came along, and this virus could bring complete mayhem if it isn’t kept in check,” said Thomas.

“Walls and bars won’t stop COVID-19. A clear plan based on advice from medical experts is our best hope to prevent tragedy.”


For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931