In front of several local and national news outlets, this afternoon the Mayor of Kingston, Mark Gerretsen responded to Federal Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews’s announcement of the closure of the Kingston Penitentiary.
“Obviously I am saddened to hear Minister Toews’ announcement today.” said Mayor Gerretsen. “I had a brief conversation with Lori MacDonald, Deputy Commissioner Kingston Region for Corrections Canada, after the story broke to hear a few more details and to express my concerns over the federal government’s plan.”
“As the third largest employer in Kingston, my first and foremost priority is the employees of Kingston Penitentiary and their families. Corrections Canada was confident the effect on those employees will be minimized as a result of a number of expansions happening at other institutions within the Kingston area.”
“Collins Bay, Pittsburgh, Bath and Frontenac Institutions located in the Kingston area are all currently undergoing renovations to expand their facilities. We’re told these renovations will provide for over 480 beds in Kingston. These additions create opportunities for those employees affected by today’s announcement.”
“I am relying on the Federal Government and Corrections Canada to provide those employees with the tools and assurances they need to continue in their careers. If even one job is affected by this closure, that’s one too many.”
Kingston Penitentiary is over 177 years old and is the oldest operating maximum security prison in Canada and the World. It is designated a National Historic Site in Canada and listed as a property in the Ontario Heritage Act.
Media contact information: Mark Gerretsen, Mayor of Kingston, 613-546-4291 ext. 1400 or The City of Kingston’s media hotline at 613-546-4291, ext 2300.