RCMP investigating Iqaluit jail fire as arson

Inmates were evacuated safely Thursday afternoon after the fire broke out

A minor fire broke out at Baffin Correctional Centre Thursday afternoon. No injuries were reported, according to the City of Iqaluit. (Photo by David Venn)

By Nunatsiaq News

Police are investigating the fire at Baffin Correctional Centre Thursday afternoon as arson, RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Tammy Lobb said Friday, adding the investigation was in its early stages.

City of Iqaluit firefighters were called to the jail just north of the city’s airport at 3 p.m., as smoke billowed from the building.

The fire was minor and caused by a burning piece of plastic, said Lisa Milosavljevic, the City of Iqaluit’s communications manager, in an emailed statement.

Inmates were evacuated safely and no injuries were reported, the Department of Justice said in a news release issued Thursday evening.

Justice Minister George Hickes commended firefighters, first responders and corrections staff for reacting quickly to ensure everyone’s safety.

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(9) Comments:

  1. Posted by White rabbit on

    The reliance on the dept. of corrections comes back to bite NU. and Nunavimmuut. The grand scale of the failure to provide adequate mental health services does have a consequences.

    • Posted by Heretic on

      The predictors of criminal behaviour in young men are related to poverty, socio-economic status, family dynamics especially, including adult attitudes toward authority and education.

      The idea that these can be corrected for with ‘proper mental health services’ is unfortunately simplistic and reductive, as is the belief that sending these men to a corrections and expecting them to ‘heal’ is, on the whole, largely fantasy.

      I’d like to see some statistics on recidivism rates in Nunavut and how those correlate to programming in our jails.

  2. Posted by Moe on

    With proper parental care this could be avoided all together. I feel deeply sorry for the pain these people must endure for their mistreatment early in life! Pisses me off. Truth parents take care of your kids.

  3. Posted by Put them on the land on

    There is a prison in the US where inmates live in the desert in tents. I think our inmates should live on the tundra in basic shelters. Spending hundreds of millions on a five star resort is wasted effort and wasted taxpayer money. Criminals will be better housed than the law abiding, what a joke. Even then, they burn it.

    • Posted by What a terrible example! on

      The desert jail (Tent City, Maricopa) you’re likely referencing is an incredibly dehumanizing place that was shut down years ago because it was a total horror show and it was never linked to any drop in recidivism or crime whatsoever while costing millions per year.
      So your example is both useless and demeaning as well as overly-expensive.
      Great Idea!
      Take it from the sheriff of the county himself:
      “This facility is not a crime deterrent, it’s not cost-efficient and it’s not tough on criminals,” Penzone stated.”
      However, you may be talking about the other Tent City Prison in Arizona, where a schizophrenic woman was baked to death in an outside cage and is no model to follow.
      Comments such as yours are very questionable when you advocate other humans be forced into conditions along those lines, and it does all of humanity a disservice to be so vengeful and angry towards others.
      It’s not the people in prison’s fault others are homeless. If you cared about that issue you’d do well to direct your anger towards those who actually have a say in that, rather than using inmates as your punching bag for misplaced rage.

      • Posted by Better example on

        I agree and think they should be teaching classes of toddlers since they have more space than a school along with recreation facilities better than the Aquatic center and gardens on top of it.

  4. Posted by Eye opening on

    Really looking forward to the upcoming report by the Auditor General on corrections.

  5. Posted by watching and wondering on

    This is not the first such incident at BCC and sadly it won’t be the last.
    “The fire was minor and caused by a burning piece of plastic, said Lisa Milosavljevic, the City of Iqaluit’s communications manager, in a emailed statement.”
    A minor fire inside a facility is always a potentially major incident.
    According to other news sources;
    . “Within 24 hours, the Department of Justice found suitable relocations for the inmates displaced by the fire. By working with our partners in Correctional Services Canada, we have transferred 30 inmates to a designated unit at the Joyceville Institution in Kingston late last week,” the Government said in a statement. The inmates arrived at Kingston’s Norman Rogers Airport in a Boeing 737 at around 8 p.m. on Saturday, Mar. 20, 2021.”
    “The remaining 30 inmates displaced by the fire were transferred to other correctional facilities within the territory.”
    Wondering how things will be when the “new” BCC is finished and open for business?
    I guess we continue to watch and wonder.


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