No comment, Minister?

Matthew Hines died in the Dorchester Penitentiary on May 27, 2015. For 13 months, his family in Cape Breton believed what they were told by Correctional Service of Canada, which said that Hines, who had a history of seizures, died from a drug-induced seizure.

So began “What say you, Minister?,” a post from September 25 last year. There was much more to the death of Matthew Hines than Correctional Service of Canada first let on. Just so, there is much more to Brennan Guigue’s experience in July of 2014 at the Regional Reception Centre in Montreal than the agency has so far admitted. Brennan Guigue survived his ordeal at the hands of CSC employees and is participating with his attorneys to uncover what information and evidence CSC has been reluctant to share.

Our September 19 letter last year to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale has gone unanswered (it was reprinted in that September 25 posting). Not that a response is anticipated or always welcome, but it is typical for politicians to avoid writing when they cannot see a way to score points, valid or otherwise. More so, it is annoying for public servants to pretend a thorny issue can be sidestepped by simply dismissing its existence.

turnoverarocktoday is annoyed.

Our second letter went out to Mr. Goodale not long ago. We would be surprised to hear from the minister, but if our attempt to pry one from his office puts him off his lunch, we’ve been successful. In the meantime, Brennan Guigue and his team are moving forward.

February 24, 2017

The Honourable Ralph Goodale,
Minister of Public Safety,
House of Commons,
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Re: Matthew Hines/Brennan Guigue
My September 19, 2016 letter

Dear Minister Goodale:

Again, I quote from the statement released by your office Wednesday evening, August 24, of last year regarding the May 27, 2015 death of inmate Matthew Hines at Dorchester Penitentiary.

“But let me be clear that there can be no tolerance for inappropriate use of force or other serious misconduct.”

You were commenting on the actions of men and women in your employ and acting under your authority. My September 19, 2016 letter went on to reference another questionable incident from July of 2014 at the Regional Reception Centre in Ste-Anne-des-Plaines north of Montreal.

What say you, Minister, I asked back in September.

Certainly, one would have expected you and your immediate subordinates to have issued directives to Correctional Service of Canada by now aimed at minimizing the likelihood of any repetition of “inappropriate use of force or other serious misconduct.”

My readers and I would welcome an update.

Yours truly,

Charles H. Klassen

cc Honourable Bill Morneau/Stephen Fineberg/Brennan Guigue/

Cat got your tongue, sir?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.