June 12, 2018 3:24 pm
Updated: June 12, 2018 5:02 pm

Opposition reacts to N.B. auditor general report that raises concerns about jails, mental health services

WATCH: New Brunswick’s Conservative leader says he would increase the budget to the auditor general’s office, if elected in September. As Andrew Cromwell reports, that was just one aspect of the report that drew reaction from politicians


Reaction has been swift to the latest report from New Brunswick’s auditor general.

Kim MacPherson’s report, released on Tuesday, touches on several issues including WorkSafe NB, the province’s fiscal situation, mental health and addiction services, as well as people in provincial correctional institutions.

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MacPherson says the current level of service provided is unacceptable and some of society’s most vulnerable are falling between the cracks.

READ MORE: N.B. auditor general raising concern over province’s fiscal decline

“Our officers have been saying that conditions have been getting worse in our institutions,” said Michael Davidson, a national representative for CUPE.

“It comes as no secret, mental health and addiction issues are on the rise in our communities and that goes right into our institutions.”

Davidson says more medical resources are required.

“We have nurse practitioners but we should have doctors in our institutions as well too. We’ve been recommending that,” he said.

The government says a working committee will be developed to deal with the recommendations.

Opposition politicians are wondering how it got to this point in New Brunswick jails.

WATCH: N.B. Auditor General uncovers overspending, lack of organization in Social Development Department

“Why have cabinet ministers repeatedly ignored this,” asked Green Party Leader David Coon.

“Have the senior public servants not been bringing these issues forward with proposals to fix the situation so that people are released from jail are at least better than when they came in?”

The auditor general also called out government over a lack of resources available to her own office.

The leader of the Conservative Party says the attorney general should have more money in her budget and if elected, promised that would happen.

“We need to have the ability for the auditor general to look under the hood, look at decisions that are being made and make them accountable in every way, shape or form,” said Blaine Higgs.

MacPherson is looking for her office to receive an addition $250,000 per year over the next four years.

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