The National Executive met in June with various CSC representatives from NHQ and all ADCCOs across the country. We discussed various items during this meeting. Here are the key elements that were discussed.
We brought up the deplorable condition of our mobile patrols and escort vehicles across the country. Regional presidents provided photos of completely unsafe vehicles that are not road worthy. The cleanliness (or lack thereof!) of these vehicles is also an issue. Each institution is responsible for the maintenance of these vehicles. Each institution is also responsible for the submission of needs for new vehicles, either mobile patrols or escort vehicles. UCCO-SACC-CSN drafted a report which will be submitted to CSC this summer. If you see some crafty fix on a vehicle or a vehicle in a state of disrepair, reach out to your local president or your regional OHS rep. Take some photos; an image is worth a thousand words.
Dual Threat Vests
The specifications for the dual-threat vest have been finalized and the procurement process is underway. Dual threat vests will include built-in suspenders to help remove the weight load from the shoulders and a MOLLE system. At this point, we do not know when the tender will be awarded. We are currently working on securing a meeting with Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), to improve the pace of this procurement.
The specifications for the gloves were developed after the pilot project and considering the feedback from members from across the country. As with the dual-threat vests, this is now sitting with PSPC for procurement. This item will also be on the agenda with the Minister of PSPC.
Drone Detection and Interdiction
CSC has been extremely slow in implementing the radar detection systems in the four institutions targeted for the pilot project. Donnacona currently has one system installed and should be handed over to CSC in summer 2023. The system seems to be very sensitive and needs some adjustments. Implementation in Collins Bay is expected in April 2024. Cowansville Institution and Mission Medium are next. CSC is currently running a pilot project for another drone detection system. CSC is in the process to apply for an exemption for signal jammers. Hopefully, this would add another layer to the drone mitigation strategy. Windows improvement projects at maximum security institutions have also been approved and should be underway shortly. The modifications to the windows should make it tougher for inmates to access drones. Day after day, UCCO-SACC-CSN puts pressure on CSC to be more proactive in this file. We deserve better tools to fulfill our duties.
In May 2023, the proposed changes to the Corrections and Conditional Release Regulations were posted in the Gazette for comments. UCCO-SACC-CSN submitted comments on the use of body scanners and subsequent use of dry cells. We do not know when the regulations will receive royal assent. However, CSC is ready to start the work to amend all necessary directives and bulletins. The procurement process is expected to be completed and a contract awarded by summer 2024. Prioritized sites will then begin receiving body scanners. We asked CSC to share with us their list of “prioritized sites” so we can provide feedback or dissenting opinions.Institutions and regions are currently conducting a review of infrastructures and any modifications needed. Modifications should be completed between now and summer 2024, prior to body scanners arriving. Nationally, we asked for all sites to be involved in the consultation of the location of the body scanners and any infrastructure changes needed.