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Guards refuse to work in Ottawa jail over lack of COVID-19 screening protocols

Guards at an Ottawa jail refused to work Tuesday morning due to the lack of COVID-19 screening of those going inside the institution, the union representing its correctional workers said.

The entire morning shift of correctional workers at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre refused to enter the institution, said Ontario Public Service Employees Union spokesman Ryan Graham.

“Everyone is taking precautions everywhere, yet we come to the correctional institutions and we’re not taking any precautions,” Graham said.


Michael Spratt, an Ottawa criminal defence lawyer, said his client was taken away from the phone when the two were talking as the institution went into lockdown.

With no guards, inmates were unable to appear before a judge by video because they were stuck in their cells, Spratt said.

“It was a blind spot for the courts until 2 p.m.,” Spratt said, noting many cases, including bail hearings, had no-shows and had to be put over to another date, keeping some inside who may have gotten bail.

OPSEU said three guards and one inmate at provincial jails have tested positive for COVID-19.

Read Laim Casey’s full article: National Post

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