Today, the Manitoba government announced it will be closing the Agassiz Youth Centre (AYC) on July 22, 2022. 

Similar to the government’s closure of the Dauphin Correctional Centre in 2020, they did not consult with AYC employees or the MGEU about the effects of this decision prior to the announcement.

MGEU President, Kyle Ross, said he is concerned by the overall lack of consultation as well as the closure’s impact on the community with another hundred family-supporting jobs soon to be eliminated in Portage la Prairie.

“Our primary focus for those affected today is ensuring our members can find employment within the government. Our members, their families, and many others in Portage, are justifiably worried about what this closure will mean for them and their community.”

With the government winding down operations at the Manitoba Developmental Centre, Ross says the AYC announcement today is yet another blow to the Portage la Prairie economy. And while the government claims in today’s news release to be shifting to ‘greater community intervention and youth supports,’ he notes that in recent years there have been few meaningful investments by this government in public services aimed at reducing recidivism or preventing youth from ending up in the justice system.

“We, along with all Manitobans, are eager to hear more about their plan to help keep youth out of the justice system because we need additional community-based supports now more than ever. In the meantime, we will be holding them to their commitment to help match employees in Portage with available work at other correctional facilities.”