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On Monday, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair disclosed that “hundreds of people who have been eligible and received approval from the Parole Board for release” due to the coronavirus crisis. But the Trudeau government will not give a specific number according to Blacklocks.
On Wednesday, NDP MP Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway) asked the Commons health committee: “How many inmates have applied for early or exceptional release because of Covid-19 and how many have been released to date?”
Assistant Deputy Minister Patrick Tanguy would not provide a number.
“Literally hundreds of people have in fact been placed back in the community,” Blair said on Wednesday.
Blair, however, did not attend Wednesday's press briefing on the pandemic. When asked where Blair was, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland replied, “He is a very busy guy.”
Tom Stamatakis, president of the Canadian Police Association said in a statement: “Our Association has significant concerns about the potential consequences of releasing these offenders ... The release of a significant cohort of offenders from correctional facilities at a time when resources are already stretched thin has the potential to add unnecessary stress.”