Questions surround reopening of Shediac prison following blaze
The union for workers at the correctional centre in Shediac that was heavily damaged by fire on Wednesday have expressed concerns over when staff and guards will be allowed back to work.
Inmates have been sent to the five other provincial institutions like Saint John, Miramichi and Dalhousie. Shediac guards have been sent to facilities across the province to deal with the influx of prisoners.
The uncertainty over the length of time it will take to reopen the jail means uncertainty for the people who work there.
“We're not sure what's going to take place yet long term,” says Mike Daidson, CUPE national representative. “I know that we're wanting to meet with the Department of Justice to try and figure out what's going to happen as a long-term plan.”
The cleanup and restoration of the Southeast Regional Correctional Centre could take months. Shediac Mayor Jacques LeBlanc doesn't see the shut down as an economic blow to the town.
“As far as direct financial affect, as far as the town is concerned, there will be none,” LeBlanc says.
Leblanc says it might just do the opposite.
“Those companies who are also going to be doing the renovations will be buying supplies from our local merchants, so I think there will be a neutral cost. It could be a positive on the side of renovations,” he says.
According to a statement sent to CTV News Friday from the province, it might not be too long before the Southeast Regional Correctional Centre is partially operational.
“We are hopeful that a section of the SRCC can be returned to service in the coming days and return to near-normal routines as soon as possible,” said Elaine Bell, director of communications for New Brunswick Justice and Public Safety.
That would mean a return to normalcy for the over 100 people working there.
New Brunswick’s fire marshal is still trying to determine the cause of the blaze.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis.