Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
That’s what the economy needs to give it a shot in the arm. Spending like the proverbial drunken sailor on more jails, massive globalist summits, new police hardware and new squadrons of high-tech fighter jets. What kind of new economy is it we’re building, exactly? A Globe and Mail editorial reads:
“If the government didn’t know what the new law would cost, its managerial incompetence is inexcusable. If, as is more likely, it knew but didn’t say, its stealth is unjustifiable. Why would Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has been promoting government-wide restraint in the name of deficit control, allow jail budgets to go wild? Why would the government not tell the truth about the Truth in Sentencing Act?”
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Janice Tibbetts, Canwest News Service
June 22, 2010
OTTAWA – A new prison-sentencing law will cost the federal government an extra $5-billion over five years and the provincial governments even more, Canada’s spending watchdog estimated Tuesday in a report that predicts 13 new prisons will be needed to incarcerate 4,000 new offenders.
Kevin Page cautioned that his cost analysis is not an exact science, but rather a “high-level estimation” because he says he was stonewalled by the government in his efforts to secure the needed data.
“I knew incarceration was expensive, but when we actually did the calculation . . . you get big numbers in a hurry,” said Mr. Page, the parliamentary budget officer.
“It is a lot of money in a period of time when we’re generating deficits.”
Mr. Page, at the request of the Opposition Liberals, analyzed the cost of one piece of crime-and-punishment legislation, which came into force in February.
The new Truth in Sentencing Act ends a practice of judges handing offenders time credits, on a two-for-one basis, to compensate for time spent in pre-sentence remand.
The analysis estimates additional federal costs of $1-billion annually over five years, with two-thirds going toward extra operating and maintenance costs to house new prisoners and the remaining one-third being used for 13 new penitentiaries that would be needed to handle the prisoner influx.