Scott continues campaign to save jail with letters to premier, NSGEU president

Darrell Cole
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SPRINGHILL - Cumberland South MLA Murray Scott is asking provincial Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union president Joan Jessome to get involved in the campaign opposing the decision to build a new jail in northern Nova Scotia, but excluding Cumberland County from the process.

"I am asking you to join myself, the elected leaders and citizens of the communities of Cumberland County and the officers and their families to tell the government that moving these officers from their communities is not an option," Scott said in a letter to Jessome dated Monday.
"I believe over the past years I have heard yourself and your union come to the defence of members who are being faced with relocating and losing their jobs in one community to another and I feel that these officers should expect no less from the union at this time."
Scott sent the letter in response to one Jessome sent him earlier in the month in which she said that whatever the government decides, she expects it to abide by the provisions of the union's collective agreement and ensure that members jobs and rights are protected.
The MLA feels Jessome needs to do everything she can to protect the correctional officers' jobs in Cumberland County.
"Many of these officers will be forced to move, uprooting their families, leaving other family members behind and relocating to other communities," he said. "This will have a devastating effect on the officers themselves, their families and the community in general."
Scott's letter to Jessome coincides with another he sent to Premier Darrell Dexter on Monday saying the government is missing a golden opportunity to partner with the federal government through the medium-security institution in Springhill and is missing a chance at taking advantage of possible savings through the use of geothermal energy.
Scott and Cumberland County municipal leaders met with Dexter and Justice Minister Ross Landry in Halifax last week to try to convince them to consider Cumberland as a possible location for the a new jail.
The group was told the decision to build the facility somewhere else is final.
The Cumberland South MLA remains undeterred, and has once again asked Dexter to review his government's decision.
"As a result of the conversation we had in your office, I do not believe that you have been apprised of all the facts surrounding this very important issue and that the decision that is being made by you and your government at this time is wrong and will have a very negative impact on the economy, the community and the justice system in Cumberland County," Scott said in his letter to the premier.
The premier and the justice minister have said the decision to build one central jail for the northern region is based on the province's financial situation and the needs of the justice system for the area.

Organizations: General Employees Union

Geographic location: Cumberland County, SPRINGHILL, Northern Nova Scotia Halifax Cumberland South

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Recent comments

  • sparky00
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    I would still like to see what model makes pictou the best choice.
    P.S- I subtract I.Q points for incorrect spelling and grammar.

  • Jon Spence
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    I have to agree by the comments of BLIND.

    For those of you of who think that it is easy for the officers to just move their families, destroy their Cumberland County roots and travel a distance of 1.5 hours one way then work 12 hours and then drive another 1.5 hours to go home. Not all of the officers live in Amherst. Some live in other areas that would have to travel even longer IE: Moncton. How would you like to travel this distance to go to work?

    Keep in mind that those travel times are only under ideal driving conditions. Such a move certainly impacts the officers and their families quality of life as well as possibly the economic conditions of Cumberland County.

    The previous plan offered us a facility in Springhill that would have been a Canada first and allowed staff to remain here at home. The cost savings on energy with the facility IE: heating costs would have saved an astronomical amount of money if this is implemented. That is just one factor why Springhill has a solid business plan.

  • Switters
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Something tells me Blind is a little too close to Murray. Maybe too close to be objective.

    I agree with not sure. The Daily seems to fall under a spell every time Jailbird Murray begins to whistle.

    And sorry to burst your bubble Jailbird, but if Jessome's going to take marching orders from anyone it's not going to be an old school, grandstanding, opposition Tory.

  • Blind
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Pictou pictou county......... Shows what you know! Ross doesn't have a business plan! He asked all the minicipalities in Pictou to come up with thier own plans and from that, a list would be downsized to a site. How is that a financial engineering business plan?? The plan being used is from the late 90's.
    Of course there is strong support outside of Cumberland! Well paying government jobs will spur any community.
    The problem is Ross Landry is stealing jobs from one community and giving to his own. Thats not smart thats old school politics that got us into this mess.
    If Landry wanted to be honest. He would give all counties a crack at prooving why they are or should be home to this new Facility. If Amherst, Springhill or any other community in Cumberland did not meet the criteria. Then in the garbage their plan should go...but thats the problem. Springhill's business plan was cost effective, did make sense and fit into the long term goals of Corrections. But that went against Landry's plans... so the only way to fix it is to just simply omit Cumberland all together.
    Wouldn't it have been easier to just say we compared everyone's plan and blank is the new location?? Something to think about?? Perhaps I'm not so BLIND after all...

  • Blind
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    from not sure, if you don't like a story than don't read it! I doubt you even have a subscription.
    Good for Murray to put such a hard effort for Cumberland County. Too bad Brian Skabar can't say the same.
    Too all you nay sayers, Why do you think Ross Landry is telling his riding, what a huge opportunity this is? Why do you think he removed Springhill's business plan?
    Quite simple really! The spin offs created by this project will be huge, and Landry knows this. Think about it! Over one hundred new jobs for his region. Well paying jobs at that! Springhill's business plan was scraped because Landry knew it was the best plan.
    Murray worked to ensure Cumberland could put the best business plan forward and build a new institution. He opened every door he could. Spoke to all the right people. Murray not only wanted to keep our infrastructure in Cumberland, but he wanted to expand on it. He wanted to make this project a first of its kind across Canada. To me, that seems like a politian working for Nova Scotia and his region. Thats why we vote to ensure we put the best man to speak and work for our interests. The NDP and Landry can't say the same. They just want to take the easy way out. Which is going to cost taxpayers more in the long run. The Cat is a another example.
    As for Jessome she has an obligation to stand up for her members. Yes, the new facility may create new jobs. But Jessome has to speak and stand up for members that currently pay union dues. Not the ones that may pay in the future!! Her silence shows lack of leadership and I pity the members she's supposed to represent. No, I'm not pro union, but it sickens me to know that those poor souls pay money into a faceless union. I wonder if this story was in Halifax if things would be different??

  • pictou
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    smart business plan by Ross , good job for standing up for all nova Scotian's in making a finical engineering business plan that will save tax payers $$$$ in the long run , kudos to you , i get a real laugh over this debate in Cumberland ? first it was between spring hill and Amherst ? Lil ,now it was reviewed ,asking alot of questions about one location ? 2 jails and not 1 ? well i see a very strong support in other areas in the region outside Cumberland that voiced concerns about wasted $$$ and location , i truly believe the 1 pictou county location between exit 23 and 24 by the car dealerships off westville will be the best location for all it is located center i mean dead center of all counties in the region ,including 1oo serious highway ,RCMP , and several police forces from pictou county ,first class hospital ,and lots other faculties to serve the jail ,and to top it off the busiest court system in the region ...

  • where does it stop?
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Now were saving a jail in Springhill so Monctonians can have a job????? Folks, were chasin our tails here.

  • amherst daily
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    is this paper the amherst daily news? the sprignhill record? or the murray scott times?

    i hope jessome tells this grandstander where he can stick it.

    and editor; this is getting tiring. if i see one more story on this i'm cancelling my subscription and my friends are doing the same.

  • ooo!
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Oooo, you and your little friends are going to cancel their subscriptions. Guess that would be a real threat if you weren't reading it for free online!

    I get so tired of hearing people blame the newspaper for the news. Okay, so you don't like Murray Scott and you don't want to see him try every measure to ensure that even if we don't get to keep the jail, they'll at least think twice before taking anything else from us.

    Well ya know what, if you don't want to know about it don't read it. You have that option. Go to another story and let those of us who do still care about Cumberland County read all about what the people we elected are doing to look out for our best interests.

  • homer
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    now thats just childish. at least theres one politician in the county that cares for the county. wheres your new NDP MLA, why hes stuck up dexters backside. maybe if he had a pair we wouldnt be in this situation. if he was fighting to have it in amherst nothing would be said.

  • peter
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Lets put this in perspective, at least the guards don't have to re-locate to Alberta like so many others had to. It is not the end of the world for them.

  • ooo!
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Well duh, being from Pictou you're obviously going think it's the best location. But, I'll bet if it had originally been located there and the new government moved it to Cumberland County you'd be screaming your head off.

  • Steve
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Murray the letter writing politician, Cumberland South would do well to ensure that a least your pen gets re-elected next time.

    IMHO as always.

  • Carey Price
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    I spoke with a good friend of mine that works at the jail and is a member of NSGEU. He told me they have yet to hear anything from thier union??
    I told him it sure looks like thier all being hung out to dry. I guess that happens when your union rather have thier picture taken with Dexter than represent the people that help pay her rediculous salary. I bet if Jessome was being relocated 2 hours she'd be kicking and screaming. This is exactly why so many people hate unions. They speak for majority and never minority.