March 06, 2020
Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg, MB—Today the Manitoba NDP submitted a petition in the Legislature on behalf of Dauphin and Parkland area workers that condemns the Pallister government's decision to close the Dauphin jail without a plan to improve the justice system.
The petition has nearly 6,000 signatures from local workers who worry about the impacts the closure will have on the local economy and Manitoba’s overcrowded justice system.
NDP Justice Critic Nahanni Fontaine renewed the NDP’s call to commit to building a Healing Lodge and restorative justice centre in partnership with local First Nation and Métis leadership. She noted a centre is needed in the area, so that families are able to visit with loved ones and support their healing journey.
“Pallister’s cut hurts nearly 100 workers and their families. He’s forcing them to pull their children out of school and leave their home community to find work,” said Fontaine. “It doesn’t have to be this way. We can create good jobs and address the root causes of crime so that our communities are safe and Manitobans are supported.”
On Wednesday the Minister of Justice issued a statement doubling down on his government’s decision to close the jail, despite clear objections from the community. He claimed the decision “was not made lightly” but refused to reverse it.
“Dauphin families don’t need the Minister’s crocodile tears. They need jobs. They need to keep their children in school. They need to live close to their family,” said Fontaine. “If the Pallister Conservatives truly cared about the people of Dauphin they would build a Healing Lodge in the community to provide good jobs and a more restorative justice system.