The province spent well over $40 million preparing for a correctional strike that ultimately was averted, according to a new report.
The Liberal government had previously stated it spent only $8.5 million on training and renovating spaces in the province’s jails in the event of a strike.
However, expenditures requested by The Canadian Press through a Freedom of Information Act shows Ontario spent just over $44 million.
Nearly $32 million of that was spent on one-time expenses, including accommodations for managers and private security.
Less than a third of the total was spent on items that were ultimately repurposed for regular use in correctional facilities, such as $3.2 million worth of food and beverages, $1.1 million for beds, mattresses and partitions, $866,000 in medical supplies and equipment, and $776,000 in safety and security equipment.
A three-year deal was struck in early January with 6,000 correctional and probation officers to avert a labour stoppage, but by that time correctional managers and managers from across the public service had already been brought in to the jails.
With files from The Canadian Press