PM Trudeau discusses the prison farms program during a town hall in Kingston, Ontario
I want to admit, sir, that you’ve been a breath of fresh air for many of us compared to what we’ve been used to. Last summer, Corrections Canada did an online survey. Six thousand Canadians from coast to coast said that the prison farms should be restored. They said the animals that were there, the animals that some people have purchased and kept for the last seven years should be sent back to prison to rehabilitate those inmates and make our communities safer.
I want to thank your government for the support that they gave us during our campaign. People like Wayne Easter who said don’t quit on this, it’s too important. Mark Holland said that it was the best program that he saw. He toured them all. He said it tore his heart out to see the prison farms closed.
What was encouraging is a letter that you wrote in 2015. It said, I and the entire Liberal caucus believe that correction facilities must include an emphasis on rehabilitation to both promote public safety and to reduce repeat offending. Canada’s prison farms delivered on both these accounts which is why I believe they should be reopened.
We thank you for that support. You’ve got the evidence now. When can we realistically look for a decision?
RT HON JUSTIN TRUDEAU: Thank you. And you continue to have my support on this.
Again, and I wonder how Mark might have stacked the room because I keep referring to him as being someone who is bringing up this issue and I know you had a town hall in this very room with Ralph Goodale a little while ago. Ralph Goodale, our Minister of Public Security, is very much – Public Safety – is on this issue. We are still very much of the opinion that I shared in that letter. I think that prison farms are an important part of how we need to move forward and I know that Ralph is working hard on the file, and we hope to have more to say in the coming months. But thank you for continuing your advocacy and thank you for your passion for this issue. And your mom too, of course. Always got to thank the moms, and everyone here, yes, thank you.