Fraser Valley prison guards take political stance

Union urging voters to not support Conservatives in federal election

Guards from federal prisons including Mission Institution are taking a political stand ahead of this fall's election.

The union representing more than 1,000 federal corrections officers in the Fraser Valley is urging voters in the new riding of Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon not to support the Conservatives in the upcoming federal election.

Gord Robertson, the president of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, said he expected between 90 and 100 members would be going door-to-door Tuesday afternoon in Mission and Agassiz, speeding the union’s message.

Although the number of guards has remained steady in recent years, Robertson said budget cuts to the Correctional Service of Canada have made officers’ jobs more dangerous by reducing programs, stiffening sentences, and increasing the number of prisoners in federal institutions.

Robertson said Conservatives policies that have increased Canada’s prison population give offenders less hope of returning to society and increase the likelihood they’ll misbehave while incarcerated.

The Fraser Valley is home to seven federal institutions that house around 2,000 prisoners and employ about 1,200 guards. They include  Kent and Mountain Institutions in Agassiz; Matsqui Institution, Fraser Valley Institution for Women, and Pacific Institution and Regional Treatment Centre in Abbotsford; Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village on Chehalis First Nation Land near Harrison Mills; and Mission Institution.

While members are asking voters not to support the Conservatives, Robertson said they “aren’t telling people how to vote.

“We’re educating our members and the public, too,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what government’s in power, we’ll continue to do our job. It’s just that we are concerned that some of the changes are making it more dangerous for us to do our job.”

The Conservative candidate in the new riding, Liv Grewal, did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Just Posted

‘Compassion club’ operator loses bid to have pot-trafficking charges thrown out

Bob Woolsey of Mission argues that laws were not valid at the time of alleged offences

Location eyed for possible collector well

New estimate puts price tag of new water source at $81 million

Police investigate sexual assault of teen girl in Abbotsford

Incident occurred Wednesday night along Oriole Crescent

Bad behaviour to lead to expulsion at Abbotsford council

New rules lay out how a member can be booted from a meeting

More extreme weather beds needed in Mission

Council allocates another $5,000 to help keep people safe, warm and dry

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

E-cig likely the cause of townhouse fire

Smoke and fire damage but no one was hurt in Chilliwack

Train derails in Northwest B.C.

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment.

Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

Protests held in response to Ontario franchise owners cutting employee benefits and breaks

Chilliwack board of education asks Neufeld to resign

Neufeld says he intends to stay on as trustee despite vote by peers

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Friends filling a fridge with love in Chilliwack

Meal Train helping family enjoy more moments together following cancer diagnosis

Most Read