The City of Dorval is attempting to rally support from its citizens in its last-ditch effort to block Batshaw Family Services from operating what is being called a “closed” or “locked” detention facility for young offenders in the heart of the municipality.
The city doesn’t want to have a jail for young people convicted of crimes as young offenders at the corner of Dorval and Dawson Aves.
The Quebec Court of Appeal doesn’t agree. In August, the court gave Batshaw the green light to go ahead with its plans to transform its premises in Dorval, a youth centre, into a locked detention facility.
The city is not giving up, though. It has asked the Supreme Court of Canada to hear the case. It has offered Batshaw the possibility of building a new facility in Dorval’s industrial park, away from its residential and commercial sectors. But Batshaw has declined. It wants to open the new detention centre in the existing building.
Residents of Dorval, about 5,000 of them, have signed a petition against Batshaw’s plan and in support of the city’s court challenge to stop it.
What would you do?
As one resident quoted by reporter Cheryl Cornacchia put it: “It’s a jail. There is going to be a 12-foot fence with barbed wire on top.”
Would you want that in your neighbourhood?
Yes, the facility will only house young offenders, individuals who were under the age of 18 when convicted. But they could be convicted of just about any serious and violent crime. Would you want it in your neighbourhood?
An executive director with Batshaw counters with the fact that many of the people who will be serving time at the new facility will be primarily people who come from the West Island and west end of Montreal. Does this sway you?
It’s an interesting debate. Where do you come down on the issue?