The Liberal Party candidate in the Sarnia-Lambton riding has challenged the electorate to look beyond the rhetoric when it comes to the future of the Sarnia Jail.
“We need a champion,” said Stephanie Barry, speaking to reporters following an all-candidates meeting sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sarnia on Monday afternoon.
Barry said she would take a more collaborative approach to the issue, instead of the confrontational approach put forward by the other parties.
“I don't get the impression that it (the closure) is a done deal,” said Barry, while at the same time admitting that she has no concrete government assurances to base that statement on.
Incumbent Conservative candidate Bob Bailey says he is still waiting for a response to his Freedom of Information request for financial information that would justify the closure of the jail.
“I don't think there are any (financial) numbers,” said Bailey during the hour-long session before close to 100 people in attendance at the Guildwood Inn in Point Edward.
New Democratic Party hopeful Brian White said the community was 'side-swiped' by the McGuinty government and he has seen no evidence to support the decision.
White says NDP leader Andrea Horvath is the only provincial leader who has made a firm promise to reverse the decision to close the jail, affecting 70 workers.
Andy Bruzieiwicz, who calls himself a community candidate, and Ontario Libertarian Party candidate Andrew Falby are both on record as saying they support the retention of the local jail.
As part of its budget earlier this year, the McGuinty government said inmates from Sarnia jail will be transported to Windsor, beginning in 2013, once a new 'super jail' is built there.
Government officials have said that the closure of the local jail will save taxpayers $2 million per year.