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Posts Tagged ‘ontario provincial police’

“A decade-long access to information fight by Amnesty International has uncovered documents the organization says reveal a deep-seated bias in how the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) handled the Mohawks land dispute in 2008.

“From the very beginning we think the response to the land occupation and protests in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory were vastly disproportional to any credible evidence of any threat to public safety,” said Craig Benjamin, who works for the human rights organization.

“Do I really think the OPP are there for public safety? Absolutely not,” said Dan Doreen, a Mohawk land defender, who was on the frontlines of the land reclamation in Tyendinaga.

“Does public safety encompass Indigenous people? Absolutely not.”

Larry Hay is a Mohawk investigator based in Tyendinaga. He worked with Amnesty International to examine the OPP actions.

He said this is still very much a live issue for his community.

“Why is it important ten years on to move this forward? Because these issues have never been addressed,” said Hay.

Hay is a former RCMP officer and former chief of the Tyendinaga Mohawk Police.

“What happened here in 2008, here Tyendinaga at the Culbertson Tract turned out to be an example for police of how not to manage an Indigenous protest,” said Hay.

The Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, in southeastern Ontario, sits on the shores of the Bay of Quinte, framed by Highway 401, the train tracks to the north and two small towns on either side.

In 1995, the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte filed a land claim for a 900 acre (364 hectares) area called the Culbertson Tract. Roughly a third of it is farmland, but it also includes part of the small town of Deseronto, which borders the reserve.

“All the important part of the town is on stolen land,” said Doreen.

The land claim is still under negotiation.

Back in 2007, the Mohawks had already protested a permit granted by the province to a local developer for a quarry in the land claim area.

They occupied the quarry site and shut it down.

That occupation was still going on a year later, when another property developer announced plans for 200 housing units in Deseronto, in another area that’s part of the land claim.

“It was always about the land and it was stopping development of the land,” said Doreen. “And we did that.”

The 2008 protests and police actions largely happened out of the public eye.

But through freedom of information, Amnesty International has accessed documents including officer’s notes, briefing books, police interviews, and footage recorded by the OPP – video never before seen by the public.

“Do you need 200 police officers to address a situation which is at most one of mischief? Or perhaps one where no laws are being broken?” asked Benjamin.

The OPP deployed the Public Order unit, the Canine unit, a helicopter and the Tactics and Rescue Unit (TRU), commonly called the sniper squad or swat team.”

– Trina Roache, “Documents show deep-seated bias by police during operations against Mohawks of Tyendinaga.” APTN Investigates, November 23, 2018.

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1974 Occupation of Anicinabe Park.

The year 1974 was seen by some as the turning point in the Red Power movement in Canada. One of the key events was the occupation of Anicinabe municipal Park in Kenora, Ontario, in July 1974. Louis Cameron from the nearby White Dog reserve organized a conference in the park, participants decided they needed to do more to assert their rights and make their demands heard. They were demanding better living conditions, education and access to land.
The July conference created an atmosphere to articulate other objectives including an end to police harassment in Kenora, better medical and dental services, cultural training for white police, creation of a local human rights committee, and appointment of First Nations justices of the peace. Ojibway Warrior Society Including dozens of young First Nations people from across the continent joined the protest in 1974.

One of the original protestors, Lorraine Major, said the people who were there with her should be remembered and honoured. “They had the guts to stand up for their rights. They had the guts to speak out against leadership.“

The occupation lasted 39 days, involving a stand-off between 100 First Nations participants and police. There were dozens of arrests but subsequent acquittals.

– Anthony Melting Tallow, November 18, 2018.

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“Woodstock gripped by a Thanksgiving of terror,” Toronto Star. October 9, 1984. A7.

Keeping contact: While police blocked off roads around Woodstock, a remote-controlled robot vehicle, front right, was used to establish voice contact with a man who had barricaded himself inside a home after a weekend shooting spree that left four people dead. Police used the cover of an armored truck, left, to position the robot near the house. Photo: John Mahler, Toronto Star

Watching: An Ontario provincial policeman peers through binoculars at the Woodstock home where a gunman was thought to be holding hostages after four people died in gunfights. Photo: Colin McConnell, Toronto Star

Under siege: A crowd of curious onlookers gathers at a home in Woodstock where police staged a 20-hour siege after a man barricaded himself inside following a shooting spree that killed four people, two of them policemen. The man, flushed out last night, was being sought for the Saturday night killing of a policeman and another man in Montreal.
Photo: Colin McConnell, Toronto Star

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“Convict Says Police Deliberately Shot His Pal; Jury Unconvinced,” The Globe and Mail. October 8, 1938. Page 04.

Admits He Escaped Jail, but Declares He Will Tell Truth; Accidental Death Is Verdict

Blind River, Oct. 7 (Special.) – An escaped convict, who admitted he had ‘lost count’ of the number of times he had been in prison, failed to convince a Coroner’s jury here today that Provincial Constable John Brown deliberately fired at and killed Harold Olsen, one of the trio that held up and robbed a Sudbury taxi driver. The jury brought in a verdict that Olsen’s death was an accident, and that the bullet fired by the officer was deflected.

The evidence of C. Fissette, who is alleged to have taken part in the holdup, along with Olsen and a third man, was the feature of the inquest. He admitted escaping from Amos when taken there from the St. Jean de Paul Penitentiary [sic], where he was serving a ten-year term for a hold-up. Subsequent to this, he said, he was arrested on a charge of breaking and entering, and of escaping from prison at Portage la Prairie.

‘Will Tell Truth’
‘I may be an escaped convict, but I will tell the truth,’ he declared, reiterating that the police officer had deliberately fired at Olsen. He admitted taking the car, but said it was not a ‘stickup.’

‘This is not the first shooting affray with the police that you have got into?’ asked J. L. O’Flynn, counsel for Constable Brown. ‘What are those marks on your body?’

‘Those are the marks of the paddles used on me in the penitentiary,’ replied Fissette.

‘But those other marks,’ persisted counsel.

‘I don’t have to tell you about that,’ retorted Fissette.

Thomas Campbell, Sudbury taxi-driver, told of having his money and his car taken from him by Fissette and his companions and of being threatened with death if he failed to do what his passengers told him.

Constable Testifies.
Provincial Constable Brown stated that with Gordon McGregor he went to arrest Fissette and his companions following the report of the holdup. He told of warning McGregor not to shoot at any one unless he was shot at first and then only to stop the car. He stated he expected the men to be armed when he started out. On seeing the men approaching, near 10 o’clock at night, he ordered them to halt. Fissette halted but the other men ran. He fired two shots into the ground from his revolver, while McGregor fired one from the rifle into the ground. Later he fired a single shot into the bush from the rifle and three shots to call other policemen to his aid. Some time later Olsen called from the darkness that he had been shot and was found shot through the right shoulder. The officer produced a section of railway tie to show that one of the bullets fired had gone through it when he shot into the ground: McGregor corroborated the officer in every detail.

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“Immoral Women Are In The Toils,” Sudbury Star. August 21, 1918. Page 08.

From recent arrests made by Provincial Constable George Grassick there has apparently been an influx of immoral women from Montreal into this district of late. They have been given short shrift by the provincial policeman, however, as two of the number already taken into custody say they have been in the district but two weeks. They have been making their headquarters at Stobie Mine. On the occasion of the police visit to the place, however, only one girl, Cecile Gauthier, was found at home. Ellen Sunden has since been arrested, while a girl named Hilda is still at large.

CLEAN UP THE NEST
The two girls so far arrested have pleaded guilty, but have been remanded for sentence for a week.

‘Clean up the nest,’ Magistrate Brodie told the police when he deferred sentence Tuesday morning.

WANTS TO MARRY GIRL
A young well-dressed Italian, with a brush cut and of a smart appearance, came forward to the dock in Tuesday’s court and offered to marry the Gauthier girl if the Magistrate would release her. The girl is but eighteen years old, well dressed and good looking. After a few questions the magistrate decided against the union, for a time at least.

GAUTHIER GIRL’S STORY
Cecile Gauthier told the court that she came of good people in Montreal and that her step-brother was a Jesuit Father in that city. Addresses were given the court. The girl continued that she had left Montreal in company with two other girls and had told her parents that she had secured a position with a Montreal family as nurse girl and companion. From Toronto they came to Sudbury, which proved to be the end of their journey, the trio running foul of the provincial police.

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“Find Hidden Clubs After Gang Arrest,” Toronto Star. July 6, 1948. Page 04.

York county police last night announced discovery of a cache of home-made clubs followed the arrest of 15 youths at Lake Wilcox Sunday, on charges of vagrancy and trespassing. Members of a self-styled ‘beanery gang’ from Toronto’s east end, the boys and girls are among those who have been creating disturbances in the Musselman’s Lake and Lake Wilcox areas for weeks:

Ontario provincial police and officers from York county, Newmarket, Aurora, and Whitchurch township took part in a raid when the gang members were rounded up in a lakefront barn after complaints from a cottager early Sunday.

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“Third Haileybury Fugitive Drives Up and Surrenders,” Toronto Star. July 3, 1948. Page 17.

Special to The Star
Haileybury, July 3 – Peter Vahey, who escaped from Haileybury jail within a few hours after he had been incarcerated was the third of the quartet who broke out of the institution Thursday night to be recaptured yesterday.

Shortly after 9 p.m., he drove up to the home of a Haileybury citizen in a car taken the night previously and surrendered. The car was undamaged, but the license plates were missing. He had been sentenced earlier in the week to two years less a day on five charges of forgery.

The prisoner told police he had intended to cross Lake Temiskaming and head for North Bay, then go to British Columbia and seek employment in a lumber camp. ‘The flies were eating me alive in the bush,’ said Vahey, badly bitten about the head.

His escape was his second as police report he had recently finished a term for escaping from Burwash industrial farm.

Two other members of the quartet, Andrew Peacock and Charles Dale were taken into custody earlier yesterday, just about 18 hours after they had escaped after locking Guard Archie Doonan in one of the cells and binding another guard, R. Crooks.

First clue as to the whereabouts of some of the fugitives came about 10 a.m. when a farmer’s wife, residing about 11 miles west of here, telephoned provincial police headquarters to report that three gravel pit workers, Dave Draper, Tom Hoover, and J. McLean had just told her their lunch pails had been stolen from the pit while they were absent with a load of gravel.

Provincial police were immediately dispatched and at about 1.30 they came upon Peacock and Dale, about a half-mile from the highway, resting beside a stream. They surrendered without a struggle, although one, for a few moments, made a run. The pair were brought back to jail by Provincial constables R. E. Bag, E.V. Dunnett, V.S. Dix and C.R. Haine, of headquarters staff, Haileybury. Search for the missing man, William Glen Lewis, is still going on under the direction of Inspector S. Oliver.

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“20 Heave Bricks At Guards – Mercer On Bread, Weak Tea,” Toronto Star. June 28, 1948. Page 01.

A score of women prisoners at Mercer reformatory are ‘still holding out’ in their riot against the prison administration, officials said today. Although on rations of weak tea and bread as punishment for continued defiance, they have refused to stop shouting and during the week-end, some dislodged pieces of bricks from the wall and flung them at guards in the corridors.

Using nail files and spoons, broken and sharpened on stone, they picked at the mortar. Some whole bricks were heaved at the guards, but mostly the missiles were pieces of brick.

A dozen guards were brought from Guelph and Mimico reformatories. They are to replace Toronto police. Chief Chisholm has detailed three constables each eight hours to be on duty.

Will ‘Have Their Way’
T. M. Gourlay, inspector of prisons, is making a report on the disturbance to Hon. George Dunbar, minister of reform institutions. Meanwhile, no action is being taken.

Nine provincial police are still on duty. Toronto police are patrolling outside the building and the patrol sergeant in charge makes one trip through the jail with the matron.

Reduced rations had an effect on most of the women, who have returned to their regular work in the reformatory, officers said. The 20 out of the 100 who originally went on a sit-down strike and then rioted last Friday morning, seem determined to ‘have their way,’ they said.

Plans to remove the ringleaders to Don jail have been abandoned, officials stated.

The form of punishment to be meted out has not been decided. The superintendent, like the governor of all jails, has power to order the girls strapped, it was stated.

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“‘Siege for Days’ Seen in Mercer After Riot, Girls Scream Defiance,” Toronto Star. June 26, 1948. Page 01.

‘A state of siege that may last several days’ has developed inside Mercer Reformatory between police and guards and almost 100 women inmates who have been locked in their cells since a major riot Friday, Inspector Herb Harrison said today. More than 24 hours after the uprising, city and provincial police are still on duty as the belligerent women continue to yell and scream defiance at authorities, he said.

Friday more than 100 policemen were rushed to the old King St. W. institution when teh riot broke out during breakfast. At least two policemen were hospitalized, but have since returned to their homes. Det. Sergt. Sam Welsford had a wrist broken when he was clubbed with a baseball bat.

Toss Food Back
After struggling against clubs, fire hoses and innumerable missiles thrown at them, police and women attendants succeeded in locking the most serious offenders in the cell blocks.

When they continued to shout and break windows, their shoes were taken from them. Late last night and continuing through until late this morning, the prisoners kept up their shouting and swearing.

‘Food has had to be carried to them and everyone has been fed, although some just tossed it back out again,’ one official said.

To relieve city and provincial police now stationed within the building to check further disturbances, 15 male guards from the Ontario reformatory at Guelph are being brought to Toronto.

A. R. Virgin, provincial director of reform institutions, could not be reached this morning. His secretary said ‘he was too busy to talk.’

‘Tire Them Out’
Late this morning almost a score of city police and provincial officers were stationed in the building.

‘It looks as if it will be a matter of tiring them out,’ one official said. ‘They have shown no inclination to want to obey the regulations.’

Parcels addressed to inmates and brought to the buildings by the post-office department were being refused, it was learned.

A uniformed policeman patrolling the west wing near the kitchen was met with jeers and shouts of ‘There goes the law,’ every time he passed the windows.

Close to midnight last night, Chief John Chisholm and Inspector of Detectives Archie McCathie visited the reformatory, and left word that city police would stand guard until provincial authorities could muster enough men to take over.

While it is believed some punishments will be meted out to those taking part in the disturbance, provincial officials would not comment. They said a complete investigation must be held.

Under the reformatory act, the authorities have some powers to administer punishment but major penalties can only be applied by bringing accused before courts.

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“100 In Mercer Riot, Club Police,” Toronto Star. June 25, 1948. Page 01 & 02.

Scratch, Kick, Scream – Girls Hurt 3 Officers With Hose, Chair Legs

One hundred screaming women, wielding scores of chair legs, battled with police for half an hour today before a riot was put down at Mercer reformatory. Three policemen were hurt and several thousand dollars in damages was done before the riot that started with a sit-down strike [was over]. 

Scratching and kicking, the women were carried into their cells by police. Even after they were locked up they continued to scream.

An attempted mass escape was foiled by arrival of police, it was attested. A number of women were breaking down a back door to get out when first reinforcements arrived, Sergt. of Detectives William McAllister said.

About 100 police were required to quell the disturbance, which was said to be one of the worst in the history of the old institution.

OFFICER SLUGGED ON HEAD
One officer was hit with a baseball bat and another struck on the head as dished were hurled about the dining-room which was left a shambles.

The girls seized fire hoses and soaked the police who rushed into the building in answer to the riot call. Chief Constable Chisolm sent every available officer to the institution. Long after the actual riot ceased the girls were screaming at the top of their voices.

Prisoners charged two inmates were pushed down the steps by matrons. Expectant mothers in the institution were harshly dealt with, one girl prisoner told a reporter through a window as police ringed the building.

At 1:20pm, the girls were still shouting and screaming in their cells.

Rush 30 Cruisers
Police said there isn’t a whole dish in the place. They were hurled out the windows when the riot started in the dining room. The prisoners are said to have demanded the release of a girl, a favorite among them, from solitary confinement.

When their demands were refused by the superintendent, they refused to go to the factory. A sit-down strike started, police said, and when matrons attempted to break it up, the fighting began.

One of the first offenders to arrive, Det.-Sergt. Sam Welsford was the target of swinging chairs. He was warding off the blows with his arms when one of the girls who had a baseball bat struck him on the arm.

Taken to Hospital
Det.-Sergt. Arthur H. Keay was struck on the side of the head by a cup. He required medical treatment at the prison hospital. Sergt. Welsford was taken to hospital for x-ray and it was found he had a broken wrist.

Police sent 30 cruisers with instructions to pick up every available officer on the way to put down the trouble.The girls broke several windows in the east wing of the building and sang and shouted in profane language.

Fifteen provincial police were sent to assist Toronto police and the prisoners were finally herded into their cells. They continued to scream and shout long afterward. Work was called off for the day.

Miss Jean Milne, the superintendent, was bitten when removing a girl from the dining room at supper time last night. The girl was put in solitary. During the night the prisoners decided to riot if their demands that girl be removed from solitary confinement were not met.

Traffic Officer J. Masters was struck in the eye by a cup hurled from the cells by one woman but did not require hospital treatment.

The prisoners armed themselves with legs of chairs. Not a chair was left with a leg on, police said, as the women roamed through the dining-room and corridors, smashing windows. The halls were running with water from fire hoses.

Keay. Welsford and Det. Sergt. Angus Taylor were bruised as they warded off blows from chair legs.

Welsford and Keay were at the bottom of a heap of women who were kicking them. Keay was first to go down and Welsford tumbled on top of him and then all the women piled on top.

‘It was just like being at the bottom in a rugby tackle,’ said Keay at Toronto General Hospital, where six stitches were put in his head.

The reformatory was surrounded to prevent any possible escape, police said. There hasn’t been any trouble at Mercer reformatory for more than 10 years, police said.

A member of the superintendent’s staff said: ‘The trouble is pretty well over and the situation is under control.’

Asked if the girls had staged a sitdown strike, she said: ‘Something like that.’

The staff doctor said no girls were hurt, but said all further details would have to come from Queen’s Park.

At the reformatory, a woman who answered the telephone said the superintendent ‘is very busy right now. I can’t tell you anything.’

Prisoners at Mercer, who come from all over Ontario, mostly do laundry work and dressmaking.

May Face Charges
A. R. Virgin, director of reform institutions and Chief Inspector Robert Anderson who was in charge of the police detail conferred in the office of the superintendent after the trouble had been put down. It was said likely some of the ringleaders would face charges.

100 SCRATCHING KICKING WOMEN CARRIED BACK TO MERCER REFORMATORY CELLS AFTER BATTLE WITH POLICE

Photo captions from left to right: 
1) RIOTING WOMEN INMATES at Mercer Reformatory squirt stream from fire hose through barred windows at squads of police outside. Some officers were injured as 100 police put down riot. One was hit with a baseball bat, one by a flying dish. 

2) 30 POLICE CRUISERS rushed to reformatory and officers were soaked by fire hoses, hit with chair legs in hands of screaming women as they rushed into building. One hundred women, scratching and kicking, had to be carried back to cells after the fight

3) SEVERAL THOUSAND dollars damage was done, including broken windows, in riot that started with sit-down strike. Girls tried to break down door to freedom, charged prisoners had received harsh treatment.

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“Whissels Now Prisoners in Sudbury Jail,” Sudbury Star. April 20, 1918. Page 01.

Defaulter Who Shot Policeman Taken Into Custody.

Fred and Joseph Whissel, brothers, principals in the shooting of Dominion Officer McLeod near Espanola a week ago Saturday morning while Dominion officers were attempting to apprehend the elder Whissel, Fred, under the M.S.A., appeared in Sudbury police court yesterday morning charged with attempting to kill. They presented a shaggy appearance in their bush clothes and were in charge of Inspector Storie and Inspector Piper, their captors.

When the charge was read against Fred Whissel he replied ‘No, Sir.’ The younger man, Joseph, in reply to the charge read against him, started out to make a statement but was stopped by the court. The men were not allowed to plead, the preliminary hearing being adjourned for eight days. B. Boutet has been retained to defend the accused men, and it is understood the defence will take the nature of shooting under provocation and in self-defence.

Fred Whissel, the alleged Espanola defaulter, who shot Dominion constable George McLeod a week ago last night, together with his brother Joe, who took to the bush with him after the shooting affray, were taken into camp Friday morning at dawn by Provincial and Dominion policemen who had been on their [trail…] They had camped on […] night and when […] passed out of the tent in the grey dawn of Friday morning he was greeted with a command from Inspector Storie of the Provincial police, at 50-yards distance, to throw up both hands. Fred, the older boy, was then ordered out of the tent and warned not to make a false move. Both were as meek as lambs. They had a tent, blankets, provisions and were armed with a rifle and a shot gun. The officers followed them the best part of Thursday with their field glasses, seen them pitch their tents for the night and then moved down around them to wait the morning.

The hunt was taken up by Inspector Storie and his officers Monday morning, together with the Dominion police. French-Canadian and Indian guides tracked almost every footstep of the twain to their capture. The older boy is 26 and the younger 19 years. Joseph, the younger boy, it is believed, joined his older brother in his attempted escape after the shooting out of brotherly love. He is not thought to have had any hand in the shooting. The officers believe that the father aided and abetted the attempted escape by conveying to them a supply of provisions during Saturday or Sunday. No prosecution has been laid against the parents, as yet, it also being alleged that the mpother incited the older boy, Fred, to shoot officer McLeod as he did.

Officer McLeod continues to progress favorably daily, towards complete recovery, as St. Joseph’s hospital, Sudbury.

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“Dom. Officer Victim of Shots At Espanola,” Sudbury Star. April 13, 1918. Page 01.

Brother of Defaulter Fired Shots – Mother Used Poker.

Espanola, April 13. – George McLeod, a Dominion constable, was shot last night, it is believed fatally, while attempting to arrest a young man by the name of Whissel, an alleged defaulter under the Military Service Act. One bullet entered his back and another his leg. He was shot from behind a curtain by someone in the Whissel home.

The affair occured at the Whissel home about two and a half miles from Espanola, and McLeod is in such a precarious condition that he cannot be removed. Although the shooting occurred about one o’clock last night it was nearly eight o’clock this morning before medical aid could be secured, but it is now with him. The arrest of Whissel was not effected.

Constables McLeod and Tomlinson made a journey to the Whissel home last night to round up young Whissel, who is twenty-two years of age and has ignored the M.S.A. It is not their first visit to the home on the same mission. Little is known of the exact details of the affair, but from what your correspondent could gather the women became excited with the visit of the constables and incited the men folk to violence.

Numerous Dominion and Provincial police officers are on the scene this afternoon. Inspector Piper, of the Dominion Police, came in at noon. Inspector Storie, of the Provincial Police, also arrived and has called a number of his men onto the case. Constable Tomlinson would not discuss the affair in the absence of his inspector. Constable McLeod is a Thessalon man.

First Attacked With Poker.
Parties returning from the scene of the shooting this morning brought in some of the details of the affair. McLeod was first attacked with that favorite weapon, a poker, by Whissel’s mother, it is alleged, and the shots are said to have been fired by an older brother of the defaulter. The constable was still alive at two o’clock and is being removed to Espanola village on a stretcher. Whissel made good his escape and is still at large. There are eight Dominion and Provincial men on the case.

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“Inmates Disliked Diet, Minister Tells House,” The Globe
& Mail
. October 30, 1947. Page 05.

“One way to beat the rising costs of living is to get a job as guard at Burwash
Industrial Farm near Sudbury. There you can buy bread for four cents a loaf,
milk at five cents a quart, potatoes at three cents a pound, and other
vegetables for a cent a pound.

Reform Institutions Minister Dunbar gave these figures when
making a statement in the legislature about the recent disturbances at Burwash,
which were followed by a series of escapes. Ross McEwing (Lib., Wellington
North) asked for a statement because, as he said, people are alarmed at these
prisoners running at large.

Mr. Dunbar said he welcomed the question because there was
nothing to hide, and if there was any criticism for treating the prisoners like
human beings he was ready to accept the responsibility.

While there had been a little trouble at Burwash, he pointed
out that the prisoners made only three specific complaints. They didn’t like
the steady diet of mashed potatoes, but wanted them boiled or fried for a
change. They also complained about the medical service, and this was being
reviewed by an official of the Health Department. The third complaint was that
there wasn’t sufficient P.T. exercises as compared with the program at Guelph.

In analyzing the trouble at Burwash, Mr. Dunbar said it
should be kept in mind that there are 723 men there, scattered over 5,000
acres, in care of 170 guards. Many of the men worked without supervision, and
he said he was surprised there weren’t more escapes.

At the time of the uprising there were a number of the
guards at Guelph taking training and these have returned. Other changes are
being made to strengthen the custody staff and with the advent of colder
weather, which serves to discourage prisoners taking to the bush, Mr. Dunbar
said he didn’t anticipate any further trouble.

In new institutions to be built, single rooms will replace
dormitories and this segregation will prevent the ‘bad men’ among the prisoners
from plotting wholesale disturbances, he remarked.

While there was dissatisfaction expressed by some of the
guards, Mr. Dunbar said they were treated fairly. In addition to obtaining staple
foods at rock-bottom prices, they are able to rent rooms and houses at prices
way below those prevailing at Guelph. Board and room is given to a single guard
for $19 a month; laundry for one dollar per month and medical and hospitalization
services for 25 cents a month.

A married man can rent a six-room bungalow from $15 to $18 a
month and the average rent is only $12.50. They also obtain the cheap medical
and hospitalization services available to single guards and if necessary a sick
guard is brought to Toronto if his case requires special treatment, without
extra charge.

‘If the guards don’t like their work, there is nothing to
stop them from quitting. It is a free country,’ remarked Mr. Dunbar.

He closed his remarks by issuing an open invitation to the
members of the House to visit any institution at any time to see conditions for
themselves.

Later Mr. Dunbar issued to the press the following figures
on escapes from Burwash for the following fiscal years (April 1-March 31):                                   

                       In
Custody      Escapes           Recaptured

1942….            1,793               36                    36
1943….            1,577               15                    15

1944….            1,612               26                    25

1945….            1,744               26                    26        

1946….            1,176               24                    22

1947….            1,849               39                    38

From March 31 last up to the present there have been 32
escapes, 23 of the prisoners having been recaptured.

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“Two Escape Burwash, Ten-Day Total Nine,” Toronto Star.
October 20, 1947. Page 02.

Special to The Star
Sudbury, Oct. 20 – Two more prisoners escaped from Burwash prison farm
during the week-end to bring to six the number of escapees in four days. Two
who escaped last week are still at large, while two others were rounded up
three hours later.

The two who escaped Sunday are Henry Leo Mitchell, 36, sentenced at Pembroke,
and Victor James Krassilowsky, 25, sentenced at Port Arthur. Both were
trusties.

Officials said the prisoners are teamsters and went to the barn to get their
horses. They ‘kept going,’ an official said, and when their absence was noted
an alarm was sounded. Nine inmates have escaped from Burwash in 10 days. Six
are still at large. Supt. Ralph Ayres reported today.

The system of allowing prisoners to go about the farm without guard is said to
be part of the reformative system. Because of the large area and the number of
inmates, some have to be placed in the ‘trusty’ category, an official said.

Two prisoners who escaped earlier last week are reported to have been sighted
in the vicinity of the prison and guards and provincial police are continuing
the search.

Prof. Stuart K. Jaffary of the University of Toronto has
returned to the prison and is going ahead with his investigation. Scores of
prisoners have been interviewed by the professor of social science. It is
expected it will be some weeks before the inquiry is completed. Prof. Jaffary
will then make his report to Hon. George Dunbar, minister of reform
institutions.

The escaped prisoners were serving terms for breaking and entering and robbery.
Mitchell’s home is in Hull. Krassilowsky, from Geraldton, was sentenced in Port
Arthur to 12 months’ definite and six months’ indeterminate, on a charge of
robbery.

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“Flees Wiarton Cells; Is Free Only Two Hours,” Toronto Globe. October 10, 1936. Page 11.

Prisoner Escapes Soon After He Admits Tobermory Robberies

Wiarton, Oct. 9. – Shortly after he pleaded guilty to charges of breaking into a store and postoffice at Tobermory, at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula, Gordon Calvert escaped from the town jail here today, but was captured by police withi two hours.

Calvert was arraigned before Magistrate F. W. Walker and was remanded until Tuesday for sentence. He was taken back to the lockup in the Town Hall to await arrival of officers to escort him back to the Bruce County Jail at Walkerton.

Police said they were investigating a theory that some one let Calvert out of the locked cell.

His absence was not noticed until the officers arrived to take him back to Walkerton. A posse was organized quickly and County Constable Fisher and Chief of Police Shute of Wiarton found him hiking along a ‘back’ road about a mile west of town.

Police said that when Calvert saw the police car he attempted to run. The officers fired several shots in the air and Calvert threw up his hands and stopped. He was brought back here, and later taken to Walkerton.

Provincial Police tonight declared they were almost positive Calvert had been released from the jail by some working on the outside.

It was explained that, after Calvert was locked up, Chief Shute, the only officer on duty in the town, left to attend other duties.

The lock-up has two iron doors on it, locked with ordinary locks, not padlocked. It is alleged some one either picked the locks or opened them with skeleton keys.

Calvert also pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud in connection with a car deal, and will be sentenced on that charge on Tuesday. Police said they had been informed he was wanted on theft theft charges at Belleville and Toronto.

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