Bowden prison farm to close

The Town of Innisfail is looking for a new home for its sewage sludge and yard waste as Bowden Institution continues to shut down its farm operation.

The Town of Innisfail is looking for a new home for its sewage sludge and yard waste as Bowden Institution continues to shut down its farm operation.

“We’re literally high and dry at the moment,” said Innisfail Mayor Ken Graham.

The town has been regularly trucking its yard waste to Bowden Institution’s compost facility. Twice a year, sludge from the town’s three sewage lagoons is hauled to the prison farm complex. The next trip was to be in the spring.

But the prison is expected to close the doors on the compost facility as part of a Corrections Canada plan to phase out its six prison farm operations across Canada by March 2011.

Innisfail is now searching for a new place to take its waste.

Graham is optimistic the town will find a solution. “We’ll work something out.”

A regional wastewater line that will connect Innisfail to Red Deer’s treatment plant could take some of the pressure off local wastewater treatment operations.

Corrections Service of Canada spokeswoman Christa McGregor said the prison will continue taking compost until the end of March, and the operation will be completely shut down next fall. The farm operations were run by CORCAN, a rehabilitation program run by Corrections Canada.

The government decided to close the prison farms after a 2008 strategic review of the program that cost $4 million annually.

The farms were meant to teach inmates useful job skills but the strategic review found relatively few offenders were able to apply their farm skills in the workplace, said McGregor.

“While offenders were learning farming skills, as well as accountability and work ethic, relatively few offenders were finding work in this area once released in the community.

“The farm operations are an employment program. As Correctional Service of Canada, we need to be providing offenders with marketable employment skills with the employment realities they face when they are released into the community.”

Most inmates head to urban centres on release, where they need jobs offering full-time employment, she said.

Besides the compost facility, Bowden farm inmates did equipment maintenance, ran a feedlot and some field crop production. “They would grow mostly hay and sometimes a little barley, too.”

About 40 inmates and five staff work on the farm.

Just Posted

Red Deer church donates to Safe Harbour

It was all about helping those in need at Safe Harbour in… Continue reading

Former firefighter with PTSD sues Syncrude over suspended benefits, dismissal

CALGARY — A lawsuit filed by a former firefighter and paramedic against… Continue reading

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

HALIFAX — Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi may have hoped to quietly disappear from… Continue reading

Democrats aren’t buying Trump’s shutdown-ending ‘compromise’

WASHINGTON — In a bid to break the shutdown stalemate, President Donald… Continue reading

Updated: Red Deer welcomes 2019 Canada Winter Games Team Alberta

About 250 Alberta athletes are participating in the Games

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

Curtain rising Sunday night on total lunar eclipse

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The celestial curtain will be rising soon on… Continue reading

At 30-day mark, shutdown logjam remains over border funding

WASHINGTON — Thirty days into the partial government shutdown, Democrats and Republicans… Continue reading

Holocaust victims buried after remains found in UK museum

LONDON — The remains of six unidentified Holocaust victims were buried in… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘So what’ if Trump and Cohen discussed testimony

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani left open Sunday the… Continue reading

Photos: Rocks fly at 37th Annual Oilmen’s Bonspiel

Twenty-nine teams gathered at the Pidherney Curling Centre in Red Deer for… Continue reading

Death toll reaches 79 in Mexico fuel pipeline fire horror

TLAHUELILPAN, Mexico — People in the town where a gasoline explosion killed… Continue reading

Mexican pipeline explosion kills 71, leaves nightmare of ash

TLAHUELILPAN, Mexico — Gerardo Perez returned Saturday to the scorched field in… Continue reading

Tall timber towers taking root in Canada as builders look to go green

TORONTO — Six years ago architect Michael Green took the stage at… Continue reading

Most Read