Jail guards will get new weapons thanks to a compliance order from the Department of Labour.


The order calls on the Justice Department to equip corrections officers with either pepper spray, batons or Tasers when they are doing outside escorts or hospital supervisions of prisoners.


Jail guards had been refusing to escort prisoners until they got new weapons since prisoner Jermaine Carvery escaped while being transported to a hospital for a medical appointment on April 3. Carvery was arrested last Friday at a hotel in Niagara Falls and is waiting to face charges back in Nova Scotia.


NSGEU President Joan Jessome said she was happy with the new rules for guards, but frustrated they had to wait for a compliance order.


“We’re in the right direction, but it should not have taken officers 400 work refusals … for this to happen.”