PRESS RELEASE – November 19, 2020.
The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers (UCCO-SACC-CSN) denounces the Mission Institution’s management’s decision not to use a professional firm to properly disinfect the penitentiary.
The Correctional Service of Canada itself now describes the Mission Institution as an outbreak site. “There are currently two employees who have COVID-19. This leads to several tracing investigations and therefore the preventive isolation of several staff members,” says Derek Chin, President of the Pacific Region for the Union. “Mission experienced the largest outbreak of any penitentiary in the country this spring. We cannot understand why management will not take every precaution possible to prevent a further outbreak. Hiring a professional firm, as they did in spring, is one of them.”
The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers also deplores the employer’s and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) lack of transparency and seriousness when it carried out their investigations in recent days into safety complaints related to the cases of COVID-19. “The investigations carried out are a textbook case of what not to do. The investigations were rigged from the beginning. If it was not for the union’s pressure, the results of the investigation would have never been shared. We are appalled that ESDC rendered its decision on such a vital subject in less than 3 hours after hearing from officers.”
“No one wants to relive the nightmare of last spring. The employer must be serious this time around in its management of the crisis given the significant increase of community transmission of COVID-19 experienced in the Fraser Valley,” concludes Derek Chin.