No to Private Prisons, the Omnibus Crime Bill and Mass Incarceration! Homes Not Jails!

Tuesday, February 21, 12:30 PM
@ the new (under construction) privatized Surrey Remand Centre
adjacent Surrey City Hall at Highway 10 and 142nd Street, Surrey BC

The BC Liberals and private contractor Brookfield Int are building a expanded and privatized (P3) 216 cell remand centre in Surrey BC.  Christy Clark recently announced the construction of another 360 cell facility to be built on Native land in the Okanagan.  These prisons are part of a massive expansion of Canada’s prison system, with at least 9,000 spots currently under construction in every province and territory. The new prisons will be used to lock up an increasing number of criminalized poor people in Canada with people who use drugs, Native people, youth, migrants and refugees particularly targeted.

Stop the private prisons – Christy Clark’s housing plan for the poor.

Organized by Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users & Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society
Endorsed by: Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council, Alliance for People’s Health, BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors – Abbotsford Chapter, BC/Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors – Surrey Chapter, BC Association of People on Methadone, Eastside Illicit Drinkers for Education.

For information call Aiyanas at 604-683-6061 (VANDU) or 604-315-8766 or email



The Mass Incarceration Agenda is…

  • Federal Legislation including the “Omnibus Crime Bill” and “Truth in Sentencing Act” and changes to immigration law that will put more poor people, Native people, youth, people who use illicit drugs and immigrants and refugees in prison
  • A massive boom in prison construction at both Provincial and Federal levels, including a huge shift towards prison privatization
  • Police practices of ‘mining’ poor neighbourhoods for crime, criminalizing poor people’s survival activities, arresting people for being involved in drugs to which they are addicted, systematic surveillance and harassment of a small geographical area

Prison Building in Canada


Privatization and Profiteering

  • “Private-Public-Partnerships” to design/build and operate prisons in B.C. and Ontario
  • New Surrey Remand Centre contract awarded to Brookfield Int. (see and a new 350 cell facility being built on land owned by the Osoyoos Indian Band in the Okanagan
  • Toronto South Detention Centre is a $1 billion P3 for a 1,650 ‘bed’ facility designed built and operated by EllisDon
  • Prison profiteers will make a “per person, per day” profit from escalating incarceration of the poor as well as lucrative construction, maintenance and servicing contracts

How the Prisons and Jails are filled…

  • 21% of charges in Adult court are for “administration of justice” charges, such as “failure to appear”, “breach of an undertaking” and parole violations – these charges result in a high proportion of custodial (jail) sentences
  • Another 23% are for property crimes, a predictable outcome of poverty, inequality and addiction
  • 7% are for drug charges; however this understates the importance of the ‘drug war’ as a mechanism for mass incarceration of poor people and native people because many people end up in prison on an ‘administration of justice’ charge that originates from a drug charge

Who’s Inside…

  • More people: incarceration rates are rising with more than 250,000 people incarcerated at some point in 2008/9
  • Poor People: According to Conservative Senator Hugh Segal people living below the poverty line make up less than 10% of the general population but close to 100% of incarcerated people
  • Native People: are about 4% of the population but at least 20% of incarcerated people; 41% of Native people in prison are under 25 years old
  • People of Colour: 2.5% of people in Canada are Black/ African-Canadian but 9.12% of people in prison self-identify as Black
  • People who use drugs: 4 out of 5 incarcerated people are identified as having “serious substance abuse problems”



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