The Federal Government decided during its last term to close the six prison farms in Canada. It said they were not training inmates for anything useful and were a waste of money. CUSJ supported a strong campaign to stop the closure of the farms and the loss of a valuable dairy herd. In spite of many lobbying efforts and a final desperate campaign of civil disobedience, the closures went ahead. In a final effort to stop them we asked parliament to pass a moratorium.
Update February 2011: The vote was 140 for and 136 against a moratorium.
Bob Stevenson and Frances Deverell join the Kingston Save the Prison Farm activists to witness the vote. All Conservatives present voted against the bill. Now we wait to see if the government will respect the will of parliament or proceed with closures in contempt of parliament. “Hope” is the baby calf purchased with 23 other calves and cows to start the next herd.
The federal government continues to sell off the farm equipment discretely, on the Internet, in spite of this bill. The bill was buried in the Senate.