Archive for January, 2008

Matsqui locked down amid protest fires

By Rochelle Baker – Abbotsford News [British Columbia] – January 26, 2008

Prisoners set protest fires in the exercise yard at Matsqui Institution Friday.
Kevin MacDonald

Matsqui Institution inmates are confined to their cells after a group of prisoners set fires and refused to leave the exercise yard on Friday evening.

At 9 p.m. around 170 prisoners at the facility in Abbotsford refused to return to the living unit, and set blazes in the yard – burning garbage, foliage, and a gazebo, said correctional service spokesman Dave Lefebvre.

A negotiator and emergency response team were deployed, but it was 12:30 a.m. before prisoners were escorted to their cells one at time.

Lefebvre said the lock up was complete by 3:25 a.m., with no injuries to staff or inmates.

Prisoners were upset by recently imposed limits around recreational activities, and media reports that the correctional officers’ union fears visitors may using children to smuggle drugs into federal jails, he said.

“Within the last week, the warden has restricted some activities available to inmates due to security concerns,” said Lefebvre.

“It happens from time to time. If there is an area of concern in an exercise room or part of the yard, the warden can limit access to preserve the safety of inmates and staff.”

Lefebvre said it was not clear what aspects of the news reports the inmates were protesting.

“They haven’t yet given us an indication about what specifically in the media coverage was upsetting,” he said.

“But inmates like anyone else have access to media, and read the newspapers and hear news reports.”

Inmates will be confined to their cells until security can be guaranteed, he said.

“As a general rule of thumb, the institution will be locked down as long as necessary to do all the cell searches, and ensure inmate and staff safety.”

Matsqui Institution is a medium-security facility with 350 inmates.

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Library staff walks out again after suspension extended

Times Colonist [Victoria, British Columbia]
Published: Saturday, January 19, 2008

Unionized Greater Victoria Public Library workers withdrew their services again yesterday for the second time this week.

In both walkouts, members of Local 410 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees were protesting against the suspension of a colleague for taking part in the union’s Food for Fines program. The program, which sees overdue fines reduced or waived in exchange for charitable food donations, was created by the union late last year.

“The position of the library has always been consistent,” said chief executive officer Barry Holmes. “We believe that the union does not have the authority to be waiving fines. The authority rests with management, and for them to be waiving what we consider ‘accounts receivable’ on our records is beyond a simple withdrawal of service.

“It has a significant impact in terms of dollars.”

Holmes said management stepped in to briefly run a similar initiative in December, but never recognized what the union was doing.

The union resumed its Food for Fines campaign this month, which led to the suspension of a worker on Wednesday. That prompted a day-long union walkout, with CUPE 410 countering that the Food for Fines program is a legal strike activity.

Yesterday’s walkout came about when the worker was suspended for another two days.

The union has been in a legal strike position since September. The main issue in the labour dispute revolves around pay equity.

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Vandals destroy quarry buildings

Times & Transcript Staff [Moncton, New Brunswick]
Published Thursday January 3rd, 2008

Company officials are still tallying the damage after vandals smashed trailers and destroyed another building at the Tri-Gil quarry on the Gorge Road in Moncton Tuesday night or early yesterday.

A company spokesman said vandals took one of Tri-Gil’s heavy duty payloaders, which features a 13-foot wide bucket, to do the damage.

“When we left at five O’clock on Tuesday, everything was fine. When we came back (in the morning), it was a mess,” the spokesman said yesterday.

Trailers were damaged and the scale house, full of computers used for weighing truck loads leaving the crushed stone quarry, was lifted off its eight-foot foundation and destroyed.

The company is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who can provide information that leads to a conviction.

Police have visited the scene and have told the company the payloader was discovered with its door open, but there was no evidence left behind by the vandals.

Yesterday’s snowstorm hampered operations, but the site will be cleaned up today.

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10 prisoners moved after New Year’s riot at Hull jail

Wednesday, January 2, 2008
The Canadian Press

Quebec provincial police are expected to launch an investigation into an uprising by inmates who vandalized a detention centre in Hull.

A news release from Quebec’s Public Safety Ministry says around 15 prisoners at the Hull Detention Centre in Gatineau, Que., refused to return to their cells Monday at 11 p.m.

The release says the inmates damaged doors, windows and their jail cells before prison staff regained control more than three hours later.

No injuries were reported, but CBC’s French-language service Radio-Canada reported that pepper spray was used on prisoners.

The ministry says 10 of the detainees involved have been transferred to another prison.

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Victoria, BC enters its’ bid in the Royal Bank of Canada sponsored anti-olympic event.

[Posted by anonymous on Tuesday, December 25th, to friendsofgrassynarrows.com]

Four windows of the RBC on Cook st spontaneously destroyed themselves in the war fighting spirit of mars under a full moon on Christmas Eve. Will Victoria come out ahead with this ambitious breakaway? Where is the rest of Canada’s winning spirit? Mars is closer than ever!

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