PROGRESSIVE Conservative party leadership hopeful Shelly Glover has promised to reverse the closure of Dauphin Correctional Centre should she become Manitoba premier.
At a Saturday event in Dauphin, Glover said the closure hurts rural development and criticized the PC government’s previous review and decision-making process when planning the jail’s closure.
"A rural economic development plan that focuses on cost cutting and moving services away from people that need them is fundamentally flawed. We need to be driving rural economic growth and reducing the stress on an already overcrowded correction system," Glover said in a statement Monday to the Free Press.
"I recently shared my plan to build a new correctional facility in Dauphin with local residents that enthusiastically welcomed the idea."
The Dauphin Correctional Centre was closed in May 2020, after the costs of renovations were deemed too high, despite the NDP opposition and Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union Local 10 calling for the closure to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Around 65 inmates and 80 staff members were relocated.
Fellow PC party leadership candidate Heather Stefanson has no plans to do the same, according to a statement from her campaign team.
"The Dauphin Correctional Centre is already closed, and has been for over a year. It’s in the middle of renovations to expand the courthouse, and there has not been an inmate in there since May of 2020. Everyone who previously worked there was offered a job with Manitoba Corrections," a campaign spokesperson said in an email.
"The reality is that the Dauphin jail wasn’t safe for inmates or staff. We would caution any suggestions to send people back into unsafe conditions."
Malak Abas is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.