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View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2010-03-25 16:16
In any event, we'll look further into those figures.
Having been Solicitor General and toured the prison farms, having toured them last February, and having spent considerable time talking to inmates, I personally think—and I think many of us who have toured the farms think—that this is one of the dumbest decisions I could ever see CSC making.
Look at the people in the back of the room. These are community people who are here supporting prison farms, not just for the value to the farming community, but especially for their value in terms of rehabilitation to inmates.
I don't know how much time Mr. Sargent spends talking to people who work in those dairy operations. I don't know how much time he's spent there. But before a decision of this magnitude is made, this committee, and the minister, should be spending time on those farms actually talking to the people.
[Applause]
Hon. Wayne Easter: The people I've talked to on those farms were people who had no life. They gave them a life by working with livestock and dairy cattle--the dairy herds in Kingston and Westmorland. That's rehabilitation.
I'm a dairy farmer, and others around here are farmers as well. When you walk into that barn, you see a herd and you see the pride of those inmates.
I really think this is a bad decision.
Anyway, Mr. Toller, in response to a question from Mr. Davies a moment ago, you mentioned you do not have a program that is important to mental health. I submit to you, sir, that you're wrong. You do, and that's the prison farm system and working with livestock.
Have you done any studies in terms of the rehabilitative impact of working with livestock and on these farms? Are you aware of the garden project in San Francisco?
View Wayne Easter Profile
Lib. (PE)
View Wayne Easter Profile
2010-03-25 16:20
Are you going to look at the impact on people? I'll give you a paper, too. You're wrong on your skills, because there's a major shortage of skills. I'd ask the question, have you talked to the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council about their concerns about the shortage of labour in the agricultural community? They're saying they will be short by 50,000 in 2013--that's farm skills.
Your question to me was on people. I'm saying that rather than just looking at the numbers--I said in the beginning we have a difference, a dispute in the numbers--are you looking at the other impacts, mental health, recidivism, and the impact on people in the prisons?
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