NDP slams the Conservative Prisons Agenda amid growing opposition across Canada

Vancouver – Today, NDP Leader Nycole Turmel accused Stephen Harper of putting Canadians’ safety at risk with his expensive Prisons Agenda, to the detriment of police forces and other workers who respond to emergencies in communities. 

In the speech she delivered today before the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the NDP Leader once again denounced the Conservatives’ ill-advised decision to destroy existing gun registry database and reiterated the NDP’s support for allowing provinces and police officers to access this important public security data.

“This existing data is an essential public safety tool. The Conservatives are not listening to victims of crime.  They are not listening to the Provinces.  And they’re ignoring Police Chiefs who want to keep this data,” said the Leader of the Opposition.

“Canadians paid for the gun registry database and provinces and police chiefs should have the right to continue using it if they wish,” she continued.

The New Democrat Leader also criticized the Conservatives’ omnibus crime bill (C-10) which burdens Provinces with astronomical costs, which the largest provinces have refused to pay for.  

“Stephen Harper is forcing the provinces to assume the cost of his wrongheaded prisons agenda. Is it surprising that this week, many said: no way? The New Democrats will ensure that these provinces have a strong voice in Ottawa. The New Democrats will stand up to the Conservatives and their wrongheaded approach,” she said.

Turmel also condemned the government’s threat to withdraw RCMP services from British Colombia, which would clearly put the safety of communities at risk.

 “Apparently, for Stephen Harper, everything is an essential service except police officers in communities,” said Turmel.