Letters & Media Releases

Open letter to Kingston MP Mark Gerretsen. April 11, 2018. Mr. Gerretsen, if inmate rehabilitation is truly the core objective for the prison farm program and for your office, then we plead with you to once again consider the evidence we have put forward, and also to consider the injustice that is being perpetrated by this government. They are ignoring the evidence, ignoring the public, and threatening to implement a program that will put prisoners and therapy animals in harm’s way. All for a short-sighted deal with China. Read more.

Open letter to CSC Commissioner Anne Kelly. April 9, 2018. The Canadian government has chosen goat dairy over animal sanctuary as the model for prisoner/animal rehabilitative programming. Since you are tasked with overseeing prison operations... carefully consider the rehabilitative implications of the following goat dairy practices [Artificial Insemination; Removal of kids; Disbudding; Culling; Slaughtering; Butchering], as described by government, education and industry. Read more.

Letter to prisoners: Prisoner Boycott of Prison Farms. March 16, 2018 -  Our government has an obligation to actually care about the quality of your rehabilitation. They have no right to sell your rehabilitative programming to the highest bidder, or to exploit your labour along with the vulnerable animals used in your “therapy.” Read more.

Media Release: Rehabilitation Program Exploits Prisoners and Animals. March 12, 2018 - Putting foreign economic interests ahead of democratic process, the government has revealed that the restoration of the farm program was never about responding to public demand, and it was never about rehabilitation. Read more.

Open letter: No to prison dairy! March 9, 2018 - It is deeply disappointing to learn that Corrections Canada will be establishing a goat dairy at the Joyceville prison farm. This is a narrow economically-motivated decision that flies in the face of public opinion, democratic process, and all available evidence concerning rehabilitative programming, ecological farming practices, and community health. Read more.

Open letter to Minister Ralph Goodale and MP Mark Gerretsen. March 5, 2018 - There are disturbing rumours that Kingston’s restored prison farms will adopt an animal agriculture model. A special interest group of cow and goat farmers have been pushing this, while thousands of Canadians have been speaking out in favour of a sustainable and humane vision of plant-based farming and animal sanctuary – a vision also endorsed by 70% of federal inmates in a recent survey. Read more.

Media Release: A Controversial Future for Prison Farms. March 1, 2018 - While some advocates are applauding the federal budget commitment of $4.3 million to reopen the agricultural operations at Collins Bay and Joyceville Institutions in Kingston, other proponents of prison farms received the news with a mixture of optimism and apprehension. Read more.

Media Release: Save the Herd Petition March Weathers the Storm. December 19, 2017 -  As a snow squall hit Kingston on Friday December 15, about two dozen people marched from Collins Bay Institution to the office of MP Mark Gerretsen to deliver a petition calling for sanctuary for the Pen Herd cows. Launched last year at Kingston VegFest, the "Save the Herd" petition was closed on December 13 with a total of 12,928 signatures. Over 4,000 signatures were received in the final 24 hours, as the petition had begun to go viral. Read more.

Media Release: Group Marches for Pen Herd Sanctuary. December 8, 2017 - A group of Kingstonians will be marching from Collins Bay Institution to the office of MP Mark Gerretsen on Friday December 15th in a symbolic move to deliver a 10,000 signature petition calling for sanctuary for the Pen Herd cows as part of a restored prison farm program. Read more.

Letter to Dr. Mona Nemer, Chief Science Advisor. November 23, 2017 - We understand that your mandate includes ensuring that scientific evidence be considered in any government decision-making process. We believe that the weight of evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of an evolved farm model, while a return to animal agriculture on prison farms would represent a backwards, unsustainable and problematic move. Read more.

Media Release: Sanctuary not Slaughter for Canada's Prison Farms. November 9, 2017 - While the Trudeau government hashes out its plan to restore the federal prison farm program, a new concept is taking root in Canadian consciousness: that animal agriculture is the wrong path to rehabilitating prisoners. Read more.

Letter to Goodale: Concern over skewed prison panel. May 17, 2017 - We are writing to express concern over the process and composition of the panel appointed to advise the government on re-opening Kingston’s prison farms. Five of the eight panel members are livestock farmers, making it clear that only animal agriculture is under consideration. Alternative proposals to establish innovative and ecologically sustainable plant-based farms have been presented to your government on numerous occasions. These voices have been excluded from the panel. We are formally requesting that the composition of the panel be reviewed in favour of a more transparent and balanced process and we call for the inclusion of voices representing forward-thinking plant-based agriculture. Read more.

Media Release: A New Voice on Prison Farms Emerges. May 6, 2017 – Evolve Our Prison Farms (EOPF) is a community coalition with an exciting and forward-looking proposal for the re-instatement of prison farms, and its vision is garnering wide support. EOPF has submitted to Ralph Goodale, Mark Gerretsen, and other legislators a model for plant-based prison farming that prioritizes ecological stewardship, meaningful rehabilitation and employment programming for prisoners, and community development and food security. Read more.