Statement from MPs Brad Vis and Ed Fast Re: Mission Institution COVID-19 Outbreak

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ​​​​​​​             

April 16, 2020

 

Mission, BC – The Correctional Service of Canada today confirmed that on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, an inmate of the medium security Mission Institution passed away at Abbotsford Regional Hospital from complications arising from COVID-19. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and their family. As of April 15, 54 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, with six test results pending. Six correctional officers have also tested positive.

 

For two weeks now the medium security facility at Mission Institution has been subject to the worst COVID-19 outbreak of any Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) institution in the country. Unfortunately, proactive communication to our community from CSC has been and continues to be absent. The public is understandably concerned about measures being taken to arrest the spread of the virus within the prison population, amongst frontline correctional officers, and in the wider community.

 

It is incumbent upon our federal institutions to keep the public informed. We call on the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair, to discharge his ministerial responsibility to do so. His statement today indicating that “we continue to look at options to see what further measures can be taken” is wholly insufficient. The public is currently unaware of what measures have been taken to protect inmates, correctional officers and the general public. This is largely due to the failure of his Ministry to communicate those measures and to assure the community that every necessary step is being taken to uphold public safety.

 

Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Media Relations contact information is as follows:

 

Mary-Liz Power

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Public Safety

and Emergency Preparedness

mary-liz.power@canada.ca

 

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Media Inquiries:

 

 

Blair Kesteven

Office of Brad Vis, MP

613-992-1275

 

Mike Murray

Office of Ed Fast, MP

604-557-7888