Saturday, August 07, 2010

Concern For Stockwell Day

Stockwell Day recently announced $10 billion for new prisons during one of the largest deficits in Canadian history. Where the economic argument alone is enough to raise concerns about Mr. Day, the fact that Canada’s crime rate has dropped year after year only confirms those worries.

Stockwell Day is a nice guy, but he’s not the smartest. He may have the best intentions, but they often are directed the wrong way, and in this case $10 billion the wrong way.

In response to criticism that the government shouldn’t be spending so much money on new prisons when the crime rate has been consistently decreasing, Stockwell Day said the prisons were needed because of increases in unreported crime.

Mr. Day actually said prisons were needed because there were increases in unreported crime, the same kind of unreported crime that no one knows happened and that no one gets arrested for.

How is Stockwell Day going to arrest and convict people who have been committing crimes that are unreported?

I am concerned that the Canadian government is spending billions of dollars on prisons in the middle of one of the largest deficits in history especially when they aren’t needed. And because of all this, there is still more concern, concern that Stockwell Day still gets to speak.


wilson said...

Just a bit of a correction here Scott,
there are no new prisons being built, spaces are being added to existing institutions.
(plus prison overcrowding as a problem long before the Cons came to power)

I'm sure that the construction industy doesn't mind the work at all, considering it instead, continued govt stimulus funding.

“The Correctional Service of Canada is implementing a multi-faceted accommodation strategy to address the increase of the offender population expected to result from the Truth in Sentencing Act,” agency spokesman Melissa Hart wrote in an e-mailed response to a request for an interview.

Hart wrote the government is providing the money to create 2,700 spaces in the next three years.

It’s estimated that the construction spree will cost roughly $2 billion. said...

Wilson the government is building new spaces on old institutions AS WELL AS building new prisons.
"The correctional service has begun rolling out plans to accommodate more prisoners by retrofitting dozens of institutions across Canada. The service has a three-year plan to add spaces for more than 2,700 offenders nation-wide. This figure does not apply to the construction of new prisons, plans for which have not yet been released."

You can quote Hart, a spokesperson, over the cost, but Kevin Page the Parliamentary Budget Officer puts the cost between 10-13 billion dollars.

Fred from BC said... said...

Wilson the government is building new spaces on old institutions AS WELL AS building new prisons.

As they should be.

There is a reason that the news media 'ambushed' the Minister of Industry with a question that was clearly outside his purview (although I still can't figure out why Stockwell Day even tried to play along, rather than just smiling and saying "sorry, not today's subject and not my area of expertise. Next question?"). They love these 'gotcha!' moments whenever they can get them, and if they had asked the appropriate person they would have (boringly) received the appropriate answers.

1) The opposition parties have agreed to discontinue the ridiculous "2 for 1" sentencing thing...meaning more jail space will be needed.

2) Many Canadian prisons (if not most) are overcrowded and falling apart. In short, they're old.

3) The cost of running these outdated institutions is getting out of hand; if not replacement, they certainly need upgrading (safety, energy efficiency, etc).

4) This work will create employment at a time when it is sorely needed.
(*real* employment on viable, justifiable public projects. Not the Liberal 'make-work' projects we've seen in the past).

5) Despite what you may have been told about falling crime rates, the surveys Mr. Day alluded to are quite real and quite valid. Other agencies than StatsCan gather this information, you know...even other countries; American and international victimization surveys conducted in Canada paint quite a different picture than the "don't worry, be happy!" line coming from the Canadian news media. And even without that, the simple fact that the Canadian population is increasing is enough to warrant these new's called being "proactive", isn't it?

6) You can't get tougher on crime without having the necessary jail space to back it up.

Those are a just a few of the reasons that we need this (there are more, but that's enough to get you started). said...

Fred, the media tries to get politicians, who else will? As a citizen I want the press trying to grill every politician, Conservative or Liberal.

As for the surveys you suggest Day alluded to, there was only one. Day only referenced the numbers from one survey which was six years old. Now that doesn't even matter because citing unreported crime statistics is ignorant because those "crimes" are first unreported and second we have no idea if there were in fact crimes (as crimes are determined by our justice system).

I think Stockwell Day has good intentions but I don't believe he should be a politician for many reasons. Yes some Liberal politicians are suspect as well but I don't think any are at Day's level.

As for the need for prisons I agree. As for updating them, I agree. As for such a huge expenditure right now at this precise moment? No.

The Conservatives have had 4 years to address these problems, yet in the middle of a historic deficit they decide to spend 10-13 billion? How is that a good idea?

A more modest plan should be made, adding or renovating those prisons in the most peril should be the priority and then as the economy improves perhaps move towards greater spending after proper assessment.

Patrick Ross said...

In fact, prison overcrowding is one of the concerns that led to many criminals serving only marginal portions of their actual sentences, or having their sentences commuted, or receiving conditional sentencing -- all of which have been disincentives to reporting crime.

More than this, it's a serious error to overlook the extent to which unreported crime offsets the reductions in the crime rate statistics produced by StatsCan.

The most liberal estimations I've seen suggest that only 25% of the Crime rate reductions resemble an actual reduction in crime.

In other words, the policies that are being touted as tremendous successes are not nearly as successful as claimed.

These are facts that speak for themselves, really. said...

Facts that you made up and offer no evidence or even a link.