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Citizen-led coalition forms to fight for DCC

  • In News
  • February 25, 2020
  • By

A group of citizens opposed to the closure of Dauphin Correctional Centre (DCC) has formed the DCC Coalition to lobby the provincial government to consider other options for the facility.
“It’s our strong belief that this government needs to be responsive to the people they serve. And what we’ve seen so far is that that’s not going to happen or it’s not happening,” said coalition member Susie Secord.
The DCC Coalition formed about a month ago, she explained, and is made up of a cross-section of people in the community.
The goal of the group, coalition member Larry Budzinski added, is to continue to push for more discussion with the provincial government, regarding the future of DCC.
“We’re still confident that we can make a difference or we wouldn’t be doing this. The danger we see is that people just sort of accept this quietly and we think that’s a mistake,” he said.
“We think there’s ample opportunity to meet with the ministers, to lobby, to write letters, to make noise in Dauphin saying, ‘we’re not happy with this’ and ‘you’re our elected representatives and you ought to listen to the people’.”
The coalition has begun lobbying by meeting with MLA Brad Michaleski, visiting various news outlets and requesting a meeting with Justice Minister Cliff Cullen.
DCC Coalition members will attend Question Period at the legislature, Mar. 5 and Dauphinites are asked to attend.
“We’re going to be rallying this community to ensure that their voices are heard and that they come,” Second added.
A sign campaign will be launched shortly, Budzinski said, with about 300 signs provided by the Manitoba Government Employees Union (MGEU), for private and business properties.
“We’re hoping that every storefront down Main Street has a sign,” Secord said, noting the coalition is organizing an information table at Dauphin Market Place Mall with pamphlets and hand outs on how the community can get involved.
The DCC Coalition is not organized by MGEU, Budzinski clarified, it is a coalition of citizens with a common cause.
“We’re working not only with the union, there are other partners in the background that are very supportive of what we’re trying to do also,” he said.
The City of Dauphin and other municipal governments are lobbying for DCC, as well, Budzinski noted, and are supportive of the coalition’s efforts.
He is optimistic the combined efforts of several facets of the community will garner results, pointing out the provincial government in New Brunswick recently announced it is backing down on a decision to close emergency rooms in six community hospitals, in order to allow for community consultations.
“So that just happened last week. I have faith that our elected representatives ought to listen. I have much more confidence, I respect people more who, after listening to something, see an error and correct it, rather than stonewall it and paternalistically say, ‘no, we know better from Winnipeg.’ So this government has got a lot to gain by re-examining and saying, ‘yeah, we can listen, maybe this was rash’,” Budzinski said.
“If they did that, it would restore my faith, that this is a government that cares about its communities,” Secord added.
Anyone interested in getting involved with the DCC Coalition may contact them at Dauphincoalition@gmail.com.
“Anybody who’s got some spare time or passion for this kind of thing, we’d be more than willing to find them some work to do, to help us in a constructive way. We really want to be constructive. We don’t want to be the type of people that are yelling and disparaging our MLA or anybody else. We’re concerned and we’re not happy, but we’re respectful in what we want,” Budzinski added.