WATCH: After some public backlash it looks like Corrections Canada could be putting the breaks on the plan to replace current William Head Correctional fence with shorter one. Luisa Alvarez has the update.
As was first reported Wednesday, the current 4-meter fence at William Head Correctional was getting replaced with a 1.25 m fence. An announcement that got a strong reaction from the public.
Today, Corrections Services Canada finally responded to CHEK News’ request for comment with this statement.
? It would be premature to provide any specific details as to whether the project will proceed and whether or not any new fences will be lower than the existing ones. Consultation is being done with the Mayor and there will be formal community consultation prior to any final decision,” said Corrections Service Canada.
A statement that also got strong reactions.
? I think that the truth of this is the power of media, the fact that you brought a story to the public eye and people now know about it now, they’re feeling more powered and have to be accountable for what they are going to do so they can?t just spend money without consulting us,? said Metchosin resident Phillip Gauff.
Metchosin Mayor John Ranns, who was shocked to even hear the fence news yesterday, met with William Head officials this morning and says the situation was a bit of a misunderstanding.
?Crap happens you know, this is an anomaly this is just one of those things that just fell through the cracks,? said Ranns.
He adds the fence is not in tip-top shape.
? It?s in that ocean environment and it’s reached a point where it has to be replaced with something,? said Ranns.
As for the risk of escapes? He says the current fence is really more for show anyway, since downgrading to minimum security in 2003.
“The guard towers haven’t been used since then, the fence no longer goes into the ocean, so it really hasn’t served much of a purpose in terms of security,? said Ranns.
But before anything gets built or torn down, the public will be heard. A consultation is set for early next year.
“We will see what the residents have to say and I?m sure they will have some input into what the final design looks like,? said Ranns.