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And now Ladies and Gentlemen, the scariest part of Harper's Gov't

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More prisons to be expanded

Several prisons in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec will be expanded as part of the Conservative government's five-year, $2.1-billion plan to increase capacity at federal institutions.

The government sent several cabinet ministers and MPs across Canada on Monday to announce the 634 new beds at facilities in Edmonton, Gravenhurst and Kingston in Ontario, Cowansville, Que., as well as at two sites on First Nations reserves in Saskatchewan.

The new beds are to accommodate an expected growth in the prison population from tougher sentencing provisions brought in by the Conservatives — including limiting the amount of credit prisoners get for time served in custody before and during their trial.

The Conservatives say the expansions will strengthen Canada’s prison infrastructure, provide construction jobs in communities across Canada and help keep dangerous criminals behind bars.

P.O.V.:

Do you think Canada's prison system needs expansion? Take our survey.

"We've listened to Canadians, who are pretty aware of what's happening on our streets," Conservative MP Laurie Hawn said during a panel interview on CBC's Power & Politics with Evan Solomon.

"It doesn't make sense to put criminals back on the street simply as a cost-saving measure."

The Correctional Service of Canada anticipates adding 2,700 beds to men's and women's facilities across Canada in the coming years.

Bigger prisons 'wrong approach': MPs

Opposition Liberals have criticized the Conservatives for going ahead with plans to spend billions on "U.S.-style mega-prisons" at a time of declining crime rates and a record federal deficit.

Liberal public safety critic Mark Holland said similar policies have been a "complete disaster" in jurisdictions such as California, which has seen its penitentiary costs skyrocket.

"It nearly bankrupt the state," Holland told the CBC's Solomon. "They have no money for education, health care, for infrastructure."

Opposition MPs also accused the government of cutting funding for programs aimed at crime prevention and supporting victims of crime, despite a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign to promote them.

New Democrat MP Joe Comartin said the government should be spending money to fix existing prison problems, including lack of staff and support for addicts and the mentally ill.

Instead, Comartin said, the Conservatives are basing their corrections policies on political ideology rather than sound factual analysis.

"Every social scientist who has looked at this area is saying this is the wrong approach to take," he said.

In July, Statistics Canada reported that "both the volume and severity of police-reported crime fell in 2009," three per cent from 2008 and 17 per cent from 1999. The Tories have dismissed the report's findings, saying other studies show a rising number of crimes that aren't reported to police.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has said Canada's crime rate is still "unacceptably high."

With files from The Canadian Press

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2011/01/10/tories-prison-infrastructure.html#ixzz1AglZRfao

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Not to support Harper in any way, shape or form BUT...isn't this just to alleviate our already overpopulated prisons? I am, however, mortified at the direction this fucktard is taking our country and the similarities that we are now developing to the US over the tenure of his office. Their policies have mired them to unrepairable levels and I fear we're well on our way.

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Not to support Harper in any way, shape or form BUT...isn't this just to alleviate our already overpopulated prisons? I am, however, mortified at the direction this fucktard is taking our country and the similarities that we are now developing to the US over the tenure of his office. Their policies have mired them to unrepairable levels and I fear we're well on our way.

I think on the one hand it's to help improve existing shitty conditions in prisons, but the overall justification has to do with Harper's "tough on crime" agenda- by removing certain provisions that help reduce existing prison populations like credit for time served and early parole. So-called experts have suggested that if/when Harpers policies begin to bear strange fruit we will see an increase of over 2000 new prisoners within the next few years.

All this extra money comes as Harper CUTS funding to crime prevention programs, after school activities for at risk youth, community outreach programs....you know those things that almost every criminologist and sociologist says actually helps reduce crime? As opposed to building more prisons.

But all of this is keeping perfectly in step with a guy who called Canada a "second-tier socialist country that you won't recognize when I'm done with it." (Harper 2002) This is the agenda - dismantle government that our ideology dislikes- (census, arts, womens groups, environmental protection, corporate accountability of any kind) increase gov't we like (military, prison, oil sands subsidy) and claim all the while what you're doing makes the country "stronger" and "better". Anyone who disagrees? You destroy them.

Oh Canada.

Edited by Guest

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Imagine if he had the majority.

which in my mind is the ultimate reason to attempt a coalition. It may not be an ideal solution but if the other 3 (Libs, NDP, Bloc) parties comprise 61% of the vote and share greater similarity to each other more than the Harper conservatives, wouldn't that represent a fuller democratic exercise rather than 39% setting the agenda?

I'm sure that a coalition is susceptible to as much infighting and red tape as any other gov't but we wouldn't have to sit back and watch this massive shithead dismantle what makes this country unique and beautiful. And no the Bloc are not the massive threat the Globe, National, Citizen, Star, Sun, etc would have us believe. They have more to gain by sitting at the table and working for whats best for them, then sit on the sidelines and get nothing from the conservatives. Canada is too large and too separate to withstand someone using that as leverage to pit region against region. We need a renewed sense of working together and compromise and get back a gov't that has some tiny vestige of representation for everybody.

9 billion for fighter jets says it all. Killing the census says it all. Fuck you Canada, I'm Stephen Harper.

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