Maplehurst Correctional Complex has been a significant community partner in Milton since its establishment in 1974, collaborating with the Town of Milton, area churches and other organizations, principally through its community work program in a way of that benefitted both local residents and prison inmates. The program specifically afforded inmates purpose, pride and rehabilitation through their good works in the community over most of the last 45 years.
When the program was cancelled by the Rae Government in the early 1990s, I brought forward a motion to Milton Council, requesting that it be restored by the Harris Government, which it eventually was. When the program was cancelled by the Ford Government in April 2019, I once again asked Milton Council to support a motion asking the Government to restore the program. That motion was seconded by Milton Ward 4 Councillor Sameera Ali and supported by all members of Council.
While I fully appreciate the difficult financial situation that the Ford Government finds itself it, one that was not of its own making but one that it inherited from the Wynne/McGuinty Government, the Maplehurst community work program is an insignificant expense whose cancellation won’t move the Government perceptibly closer to fiscal balance. The program has helped to rehabilitate thousands prisoners over much of the last 45 years, in concert with a municipality that has been a consistently supportive partner. Upon review of Council’s request, I remain confident that the Government will re-instate this cost-effective initiative, allowing model prisoners to get their lives back through community outreach where everybody wins. CR