Premier snubs meeting with mayor, MLA over jail decison

Staff ~ The Record
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SPRINGHILL - Premier Darrell Dexter has turned down a request from Cumberland South MLA Murray Scott to meet with him and Springhill Mayor Allen Dill to discuss what happened to a provincial correctional center announced for Springhill.
During the final question period of the fall sitting on Thurs, Scott asked the premier if he would come to Springhill to discuss if his government plans to make good on its commitment to honour a plan initially announced by the Progressive Conservative Government.
The announcement to construct one facility in Springhill came in April, after work on the project, such as land acquisition and preliminary design, were completed. The previous government earmarked approximately $18 million in its spring budget for the correctional center in Springhill but the NDP took this money out of the budget after taking office.
Justice Minister Ross Landry has since expressed concern whether the cost of constructing the facility would be beneficial to taxpayers and if Springhill is in fact the best location for it.
Scott says he has interpreted this to mean the government is not going to follow through on the plan and has become frustrated with the lack of definitive answers surrounding the project. Scott requested the meeting in the Legislature to help clarify where the project is at but the premier deferred all responsibility to the Justice Minister.
"This matter is being handled by the Minister of Justice," Dexter said. "The file is being reviewed in that department. I think it would be best, if you're really concerned with that, to ask the Minister of Justice."
Scott said his answer shows a lack of leadership.
"It sounds as though the premier does not know what is going on and is essentially passing the buck on an issue that could have a tremendous affect on this community and the provincial justice system," Scott said.

Organizations: NDP

Geographic location: SPRINGHILL

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