Government of Canada moves to create a bilingual Health Centre of Excellence at Dorchester Penitentiary
June 18, 2021 – Dorchester, New Brunswick – Correctional Service Canada
Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, on behalf of the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced that the Government of Canada has moved forward with the next step in the creation of a state-of-the-art, bilingual Health Centre of Excellence at Dorchester Penitentiary in Dorchester, New Brunswick. The Health Centre will enhance access to health interventions and treatment for offenders, lead to safer communities and create good jobs in the region.
On April 19, 2021, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) issued a Request for Proposal for pre-design services for the 155-bed Health Centre of Excellence. The pre-design phase will inform the design and construction phase of the project and include feasibility studies, consultation with stakeholders, and site options. PSPC plans to award the contract in fall 2021. As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities, bidders will be required to include an Indigenous architect in their proposal.
In 2019, the Government of Canada announced the proposal to build a new, bilingual health care facility in New Brunswick that would include more mental health beds, new beds for women offenders, and new hospital beds for the Atlantic region. The Centre will also take into account the needs and realities of Indigenous inmates by delivering culturally sensitive care. This will enhance the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC)’s capacity to address the health needs of federal offenders before their eventual return to the community and contribute to the Government’s ongoing efforts to improve health care in the federal correctional system.
“Our government is committed to good mental health and wellness and believes it is an important part of building healthy communities. The creation of a Health Centre of Excellence in Dorchester Penitentiary will give federal offenders improved access to mental health services as they work toward their eventual release, and subsequently provide a safer environment for inmates and staff at the institution.”
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
“I am pleased that the Government of Canada is moving forward with the creation of a CSC Health Centre of Excellence in New Brunswick. We are committed to providing a correctional system that delivers effective and timely interventions to address the health needs of offenders. A well-designed Health Centre of Excellence will facilitate the delivery of patient-centred care in meeting these needs.”
The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
“The Government of Canada is committed to providing modern and efficient infrastructure to support the delivery of key services and programs. In these current times, access to reliable, quality mental health care has never been more important to all Canadians. The Health Centre of Excellence will provide a safe and secure facility to enhance the delivery of mental health services for Dorchester Penitentiary.”
The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement
CSC has a legislative mandate to provide every inmate with essential health care, including mental health care, and reasonable access to non-essential health care, in keeping with professionally accepted standards.
CSC has an integrated Mental Health Strategy and a mental health service delivery model to ensure essential mental health care services match the needs of the offender population.
The 2017 and 2018 federal budgets included $78.2 million for mental health care in CSC, and the 2018 Fall Economic Statement included another $448 million for corrections, of which $150 million is specifically devoted to mental health.
Correctional Service Canada
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