Top News

Letter: HMP high on the long list of issues government must address

Cramped and depressing conditions inside Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s make it a stressful place to work as well as to be incarcerated.
Cramped and depressing conditions inside Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s make it a stressful place to work as well as to be incarcerated. - Glen Whiffen

Re: Paul Lane’s, Independent M.H.A (Mount Pearl - Southlands)., “N.L. government has to find a way to replace the “dungeon at the lake,” The Telegram, July 14, 2018 and Mark Gruchy’s “Here’s why we can’t afford to keep the horror show that is HMP open, CBC News, July 16, 2018

The Danny Williams-Kathy Dunderdale Progressive Conservatives should have built the new HMP, the new Waterford Hospital, completed the construction of the new Corner Brook hospital, and other essential projects when our provincial government received billions of dollars in offshore oil revenues.

Instead, they chose to focus on the originally estimated $6 billion, now almost $13-billion Muskrat Falls “Boondoggle!”

As I told one distinguished psychiatrist, our past and current Liberal and Progressive Conservative provincial governments have embarked on institutional stigma.

Obviously, certain segments of our society are not a priority. A question we need to ask Premier Dwight Ball and PC Leader Ches Crosbie is why?

Equalization transfers from Ottawa will certainly help, but the former Harper Conservatives, and now Trudeau Liberal Government have said “No” while giving Quebec $13 billion (while their provincial government has a budgetary surplus), and billions more to other “Have-not” provinces” Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

Surely, the federal Liberals, especially Seamus O’Regan, Yvonne Jones, Gudie Hutchings, Ken McDonald, Churence Rogers, Scott Simms and Nick Whalen should realize that Newfoundland and Labrador is now a “Have-not” province. We have significant socio-economic problems: highest unemployment rate in the country; increased bankruptcies; increased taxes, crumbling public infrastructure, including HMP; outmigration; and increased hydro utility rates!

When will Ottawa do the right thing and re-instate equalization payments to our province and help replace the 19th Century “Dungeon at the Lake?”

Edward Sawdon

Mount Pearl

Read more from The Telegram's special rport on HMP here.

Recent Stories