[Sust-mar] URGENT - Save Prison Farms (from Harper)

Helen Jones hjones at chebucto.ns.ca
Tue Jun 8 18:22:41 EDT 2010

Hope you can take two minutes and make a phone call or send an email to help
stop this.


Everything about losing prison farms is wrong and stupid - we need more
people who know how to grow food, and good training programs like this, and
we need to protect every bit of farm soil.  ---  Helen Jones



From: "Helen Forsey" <hlforsey at sympatico.ca>

Date: June 7, 2010 2:01:47 PM ADT

Subject: Please - Urgent call to save prison farms


Dear friends,


    I drove all the way to Kingston yesterday to participate in a rally and
march to try to stop the Harper government from dismantling Canada's six
prison farms, which provide food, employment and rehabilitation training to
prisoners as well as important services to farmers, food banks and local
communities in Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
(See www.saveourprisonfarms.ca and www.saveourfarms.ca.) 


    Margaret Atwood was one of the speakers at the rally. She was, of
course, trenchant and inspiring. Then the huge crowd walked with her and the
organizers to the Correctional Services headquarters to post an action plan
for the prison farms on the door there. It was a grand event, energizing and


    But the reason it had to happen is absolutely infuriating. For months
now the Harper government has been proceeding with its plans to close down
these farms and sell off their assets, including the prize dairy herd from
the Pittsburgh (Joyceville) Institution. The sale of that herd is scheduled
for just two weeks from today - June 21st. The planned closures are part of
an overall program which includes the building of super-prisons,
American-style - likely on the agricultural land the farms now occupy.


    The government's insistence (up to now) on destroying them makes no
sense even in Harper's own narrow terms of votes and money. This is not a
minority issue - some 90% of Canadians support the prison farms. Nor is it a
question of saving taxpayers' money - of the $4 million the government says
it would save, it would have to spend one million just to replace the milk,
never mind other products; and this is the gang that is saying $1 billion is
OK to spend hosting the G-20! 


    So please, do take a few minutes to add your voice to the chorus
demanding the reversal of this utterly senseless and destructive Harper
policy. Lots of good information, model letters, petition, etc. are to be
found at the websites noted above -  www.saveourprisonfarms.ca (the prison
farms coalition's website) and www.saveourfarms.ca , (the latter sponsored
by the Union of Solicitor General Employees (USGE/PSAC).


Even if you don't have time to check the websites, please do whatever you
can of the following: 


.  Write or call Prime Minister Stephen Harper toll-free at 1-866-599-4999
(ask for the Office of the Prime Minister) or f: 1-613-941-6900 or e-mail
<mailto:pm at pm.gc.ca> pm at pm.gc.ca

.  Send a handwritten letter to Public Safety Minister Vic Toews 8-227 Main
Street, Steinbach. Manitoba, R5G 1Y7, or contact him at p:(204) 326-9889,
f:(204) 346-9874,
toews.v at parl.gc.ca

.  Write or call Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff at toll-free
1-866-599-4999 (ask for the Liberal Leader's Office) or f: 1-613-947-0310 or
e-mail  <mailto:ignatm at parl.gc.ca> ignatm at parl.gc.ca

.  Write or call NDP Leader Jack Layton at 613-947-0867 or f: 613-947-0868
or e-mail  <mailto:laytoj at parl.gc.ca> laytoj at parl.gc.ca

.  Write or call Green Party Leader Elizabeth May at 1-866-868-3447 or f:
613-482-4632 or e-mail <mailto:leader at greenparty.ca> leader at greenparty.ca

.  write or call your own MP.

.  Sign the e-petition:


And please forward this on right away to your networks. I've been slow to
act on this, but now sure is the time. We might even win this one.




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