Political malpractice…….

……..leads to dubious policy and bad law.

So, you haven’t had a raise in ten years? How about not having a raise since 1981? How about not even having a cost-of-living increase? Worse, how about taking a pay cut?

Here’s one example of a suspect government program to guarantee the success of Canada’s prison industry.

Back in 1981, a parliamentary commission recommended a new pay scale for inmates in Canada’s federal prisons. It was based on the minimum wage at the time, reduced by 85% for room and board and other costs to the prison system. Only a very few inmates received the top rate of $6.90 per day, based on the work available to them, while the average was about $3 per day.

This money was intended to pay for phone calls, help with family support, save in preparation for release, fund outside educational courses, assist with travel and food costs for family visits, purchase personal hygiene products and over the counter medicines, and supplement the 2600 calorie a day diet provided by the institutions…..as a start. It was also an incentive to learn money management.

The purpose of this pay program hasn’t changed since 1981 but the dynamics certainly have. With no increases in funding over the years, the Office of the Correctional Investigator commissioned a 2005-2006 report after noticing increased complaints underscoring the impact of inflation.

This report, released in 2006, determined that the cost of a basket of canteen items purchased in 1981 for $8.49 had grown to $61.49 by 2006! And, inmates were expected to budget with the same $3 a day average.

That was back in 2006, and thanks to Stephen Harper and his band of merry Neanderthals, matters were going to get a lot worse.

Stay tuned…….

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