Correctional workers from across Saskatchewan were in Regina Friday protesting a needle exchange program.
The Prison Needle Exchange Program was implemented as a pilot in two facilities in eastern Canada. Come January 2019, other centres could begin using it as well.
That’s something which causes great concern to the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers’ John Lambiris.
Saskatchewan correctional workers protest the prison needle exchange program (PNEP) outside @RalphGoodale's Regina office. A statement from them says they're "committed to protecting the health and safety of all Canadians."#YQR #SK #Sask #cdnpoli #news pic.twitter.com/dhrY8sqvYk
— David Boles (@DavidJBoles) November 2, 2018
“The program was implemented without consultation with the union and was just kind of forced upon us,” he said.
The protest was of many held, with one also occurring in Moncton in Ginette Petitpas-Taylor’s riding.
Lambiris said officers come across contraband and a variety of weapons with a needle exchange program only adding another potential weapon to the mix.
“We’ve have situations that have happened this year, last year, over the years where inmates have assaulted staff.”
Lambiris noted the union has made a national effort to meet with the Ministers on this matter, but nothing has materialized. At this point, there’s one thing they want.
“We’re hoping that they suspend the program altogether.”
In a statement to 620 CKRM News, Goodale’s office responded, saying the federal government is “committed to protecting the health and safety of all Canadians, including federal inmates, through access to harm reduction and evidence-based health services. “