Ottawa must consider cost of prison expansion -- in addition to pension reform

If everything is on the table – including the Old Age Security benefit of roughly $540 a month – why do the billions of dollars being added to the federal corrections budget feel untouchable?

As the Senate begins hearings on the government’s omnibus crime bill, and the almost certain prospect of huge, long-term budgetary increases in the jails moves a step closer, it seems an odd juxtaposition: trying to ensure the long-term health of the retirement security system, and spending like crazy, in the short, medium and long terms, on prison cells.

The government is right to be forward-looking – but why does it not question the long-term sustainability of the corrections system? If Canada can talk about the long-term challenges facing health care and seniors benefits, what about the long-term costs of jail expansion?

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