Vic Toews’ Prison Shock Doctrine Recipe

-- Download Vic Toews' Prison Shock Doctrine Recipe as PDF --

Closing prisons from the 19th century is surely a good idea, but I have no faith that the Conservative Party cares to replace them with anything progressive based on research from any time since the 19th century.

So here’s a Canadian prison Shock Doctrine perfect storm:

  1. The Conservatives [Reform Party] want to spend billions on new prisons because they believe prisons are good. I expect them to be privately run, for profit.
  2. Prisons are over-crowded already so we need more, but ideally more that are effectively designed and operated. Don’t hold your breath. Dickens-era prison philosophy is in vogue among the radical right these days.
  3. Then with a new crime bill designed to round up pot miscreants [and maybe debtor prisons next?], there will be an expected increased demand for prison space.
  4. Then, for dessert, close a couple prisons to further aggravate the over-crowding and reduce the system’s capacity to lock up all the 420 pot enthusiasts who will be arrested in 364 days, and the Occupy movement.
  5. Then, retire to the drawing room for port and cigars as…wait for it…we absolutely MUST build new prisons now.

So what can you do?

Follow the new official opposition Justice Critic, NDP’s Françoise Boivin in Twitter and on the web.

And, of course, #TellVicEverything. You can also email/phone him here to tell him what you think of their 19th century plan for prisons in Canada.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website,

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