Tories demand Goodale explain delayed police call on prison sex-assault claim

OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives say Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale must explain why the Correctional Service of Canada waited three months to call police after learning of assault allegations at a prison in Nova Scotia.

The federal correctional agency apologized Friday after facing questions from The Canadian Press about a previous public statement saying it had immediately contacted police about the assault allegations at the Nova Institution in Truro.

In fact, it now says it contacted police on March 29 — three months after it first learned of the allegations now at the centre of a lawsuit by three women.

Truro’s police chief has said his force was already investigating the allegations by then.

Pierre Paul-Hus, the Conservative public safety critic, says the Correctional Service of Canada clearly had a responsibility to report the allegations of assault to the proper authorities immediately, adding Goodale must explain why this “appalling situation” took place.

Goodale’s office has yet to directly respond to the question of whether he believes the Correctional Service of Canada acted appropriately by waiting three months to contact police.

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