NDP critic for Indigenous and Treaty Relations Sol Mamakwa (Kiiwetinoong) has released a statement in response to the Ford government’s sudden decision to close 26 youth justice facilities:
“The abrupt closure of 26 youth justice centres is horrifying and dangerous. Many of these centres are in northern Ontario and these young people are now being sent further from home, away from their support networks and families that are essential for their welfare.
This decision by the Ford government will have a devastating impact on many young people in Northern Ontario, many of them Indigenous youth.
The Ford government has once again demonstrated that it doesn’t care about the lives of Indigenous youth and their families. This will make the child welfare to prison pipeline in our province even worse, and is another example of institutional anti-Indigenous racism and colonialism within the child welfare and youth justice systems. More young people will be put at risk, and this will do nothing to help them rebuild their lives with the support they need from their families and communities.”