“This funding will provide the BPS with the ability to construct a modern detention facility that will help ensure the safety of our clients, staff and the community we serve”
Manitoba is investing $8 million to build one new detention facility and enhance another in the province.
“Our government is committed to the safety of all Manitobans including safe conditions for detainees and the staff operating these facilities,” said Justice Minister Cliff Cullen. “These important investments will also support jobs in the construction industry as we continue to safely restart and grow Manitoba’s economy.”
From the funding, $4.4 million is set for the Brandon Police Service (BPS) to create a new permanent detention facility as part of its headquarters. Modular cells will be constructed to address demand in the interim period while design and construction on the permanent structure take place.
“This funding will provide the BPS with the ability to construct a modern detention facility that will help ensure the safety of our clients, staff and the community we serve,” said Wayne Balcaen, chief of Brandon Police Service. “We also thank the Manitoba government for additional funding through the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund, which will provide additional tools and training to our staff, and ultimately contribute to overall public safety.”
The province has provided nearly $200,000 to BPS this year through the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund for training and equipment upgrades, according to Cullen, noting that $25,000 of the funding was shared with the Brandon Bear Clan organization to purchase a van for their operations.
The other $3.5 million of the new fund is for the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) to facilitate updates to its Central Processing Unit.
“The Winnipeg Police Service would like to thank the province for its contribution toward the capital costs to address infrastructure challenges that emerged as a result of the changes in prisoner processing,” said Arthur Stannard, acting chief of Winnipeg Police Service. “These renovations that we will make in our Central Processing Unit will help us better meet the needs of our members and the detainees in our care.”
The funding will ensure both BPS and WPS have facilities with the appropriate capacity to support their police agencies, said the government.
Since 2011, more than $16 million has been distributed to law enforcement agencies and community initiatives through the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund, which includes the Federal Proceeds of Crime Fund (FPOC) and Victims’ Assistance funds, according to the government.
Correctional Workers Day
Manitoba also recognized correctional workers’ contributions to society, declaring Sept. 3, 2020, as Correctional Worker Day.
“Correctional officers and juvenile counsellors work in conditions that can be challenging and stressful. They help to keep our communities safe and support the future success of inmates, so they can once again become contributing members of society,” said Cullen. “I’m proud to proclaim this day in honour of correctional officers, juvenile counsellors and other staff, who continue to provide essential services to protect Manitobans and enrich the lives of youth in the criminal justice system.”
There are eight adult and youth correctional facilities in Manitoba, which employ over 2,000 full- and part-time correctional staff including correctional officers, juvenile counsellors, nurse program facilitators and correctional trades instructors.
This year, Correctional Worker Day will coincide with the Corrections Exemplary Service Award ceremony at Government House, where 19 staff were honoured for their work with the Corrections Exemplary Service Medal, presented by the minister.
Recently, the Ontario government also announced efforts to modernize the adult correctional system across Eastern Ontario, building on the province’s $500 million investment over five years to transform correctional facilities across the province to help ensure the safety and security of frontline staff.