Inspector David Loukidelis, pictured here in April, conducted an inspection of the Whitehorse Correctional Centre (WCC) and confirmed that the inspection report was submitted to the Yukon government on the May 15 deadline. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

WCC inspection report now in the hands of Yukon government

Inspector David Loukidelis and the Yukon government confirmed the report was submitted May 15

The Yukon government and a legal expert appointed to conduct an inspection of the Whitehorse Correctional Centre (WCC) have confirmed that the inspection report was submitted to the Yukon government on the May 15 deadline.

In an email May 16, David Loukidelis, who was appointed by Justice Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee to inspect the WCC in November 2017, said he submitted his report and that “it’s in government’s hands as to next steps.”

“Everyone I dealt with has been very open and supportive, including all First Nations and the government and I’m grateful to everyone for that,” Loukidelis wrote.

McPhee ordered an inspection in September 2017 following the conclusion of the Michael Nehass case, which raised questions about the treatment and resources available at the WCC to First Nations inmates and inmates with mental health issues as well as allegations of solitary confinement, among other things. She said the inspection would touch upon concerns highlighted by the Nehass case, as well as more general issues.

Loukidelis began his independent inspection in January, and as part of the work, spoke to corrections workers, current and prior inmates at the WCC, Yukon First Nations and other community groups, as well as reviewed thousands of documents and files.

In a phone interview May 16, justice department spokesperson Dan Cable also confirmed receipt of Loukidelis’s report. He said the department remains committed to releasing the report, as well as the government’s response to the report, within 90 days.

Cable declined to give any details about the contents of the report, but confirmed that Loukidelis had made several recommendations.

Justice department officials, primarily ones connected to the WCC, will now be going over the report and recommendations, preparing an analysis for McPhee and figuring out how to respond to the recommendations, he said.

“We just received the report and there’s lots to do to make answers to that, so we’ll probably have more to say at a future date…. It’s only 90 days (until we have to make the report public), so that time started ticking yesterday,” Cable said.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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