Canada will invest $155.5 million in Canadian dollars to construct prisons in Ontario and Quebec, according to reports.
Vic Toews, public safety minister for the Canadian government, said in a statement to Parliament that Canada will build new “living units” with a total of 580 beds. The prison system is planning the expansion on both provinces to deal with a rising crime rate there. Construction will begin in early 2011 and is expected to go through 2013.
“We believe that dangerous repeat offenders should remain in prison until their debt to society has been paid,” Toews says. “The rights of law-abiding Canadian citizens should trump the interests of criminals.
The prison expansion is not without its critics. Opposition to the plan accuse the government there of “trying to transform Canada into the disaster that is California” — a reference to the Golden State’s overcrowded and expensive prison system.