Madam Speaker, the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, UCCO-SACC-CSN, represents over 7,300 members working on the front lines in federal institutions across Canada, hundreds within my own riding.
Correctional officers face significant but avoidable challenges during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic brought on by unprepared leadership, inconsistently applied or non-existent protocols and a serious lack of personal protective equipment for inmates and officers alike. This was especially true in my riding, where Mission Institution holds the dubious honour of hosting the largest COVID-19 outbreak at a federal correctional institution.
UCCO-SACC has been in contract negotiations with the federal government since before the last election. While COVID-19 slowed down talks for a time, they have since resumed.
I call on the Liberal government to show our correctional officers the respect they deserve and to table a legitimate offer which reflects the important public safety role they play and the risks officers take to keep us safe.