Mark Gerretsen Announces Federal Funding to Reopen Prison Farms

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MP Mark Gerretsen Budget 2018

Kingston and the Islands MP Mark Gerretsen has announced that the new federal budget includes $4.3M in funding to reopen Collins Bay and Joyceville Prison Farms.

In a live video posted to Facebook just before 5pm, Gerretsen approaches the camera and says he has some very exciting news regarding Budget 2018.

In news he admits he didn’t fully see coming, on pg 210 (of the budget): the reopening of prison farms at both Collins Bay and Joyceville.

“What we know and what I know so many of you believe in, are that Prison farms are essential to the integration and rehabilitation of inmates back into society,” he continued. “We know that there were some mistakes that were made nearly 10 yrs ago by the previous (Conservative) government to close these farms, when all of the anecdotal information and all of the real information that we were getting was saying that this was genuinely rehabilitating people and helping them get back into society to become productive members.”

Gerretsen also thanked (Public Safety Minister) Ralph Goodale “who has heard from me so many times on this since i was elected and his staff, Justine in his office, who have received emails and phone calls from me begging for this.”

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“Also and perhaps more importantly,” he added, “to some of the people who came before me: (former Kingston and the islands MP) Ted Hsu, for example, who worked on this in opposition and fought for this on a daily basis, had a huge role to play in this. As well as the “Save Our Prison Farms” group. The Coop that assembled. The people who went out and purchased the cows when they were being sent back.”

Referencing the “immense and huge support from within the community” Gerretsen then thanked one last group.

The group of people who went out the Collins Bay site every Monday evening for an hour and stood there in protest to display how upset they were with that closing. .. what they did worked. And I can tell you, if there’s nothing else, that tells you how important it is to fight for what you believe in, because eventually you’ll get it.  That is what we’ve seen today.”

Watch Mark Gerretsen’s Facebook Live video below (jump ahead to the 1:20 mark)

UPDATE: A post on Mark Gerretsen’s Twitter account