APTN National News
QUEBEC CITY — It’s a situation provincial governments in Quebec have known about for well over a decade and, according to Quebec’s Ombudsman, is well in their power to fix.
The situation in Nunavik, a California sized swath of land in northern Quebec, is not like it is in the south.
In her report released Thurday, Raymonde Saint-Germain said, among other things, detention conditions in Nunavik are below current standards and do not always respect the fundamental rights of inmates — particularly their right to human dignity. cells are generally unsanitary and equipment is obsolete, defective or insufficient, access to water is limited and janitorial and laundry services are often lacking or non-existent.
And the jurisdiction that is supposed to ensure everything was safe and up to code? Here is what Saint-Germain wrote in her report.
“Since 2005, the Direction générale des services correctionnels has been required to provide the Kativik Regional Government with an annual report to ensure that detention cells in Nunavik meet requirements and are safe. However, it was only following a request from the Québec Ombudsman in 2013 that a first report was produced. The brevity of this report, the lack of objective information on Nunavik inmates and the absence of concrete solutions to pressing issues on detention conditions all confirmed the importance of the investigation that led to this report from the Québec Ombudsman.”
In the late winter of 2015, APTN’s Tom Fennario traveled to Nunavik to talk to the people who experience the justice system first hand.
Click here for extended interviews on Imported Justice.
Tom also tried to get reaction from the Province’s Justice Minister on how she planned to fix it. He spent months on the phone and writing emails to her assistants trying to set up an interview – to no avail.
So he grabbed his camera, jumped into the APTN truck and drove to Quebec City.
More to come …