Lumby out of the running for new prison

Premier attending "public safety" press conference in Oliver Monday

It appears like Lumby won’t become the home of a new prison.

Premier Christy Clark and Solicitor General Shirley Bond will attend a press conference with Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Clarence Louie in Oliver at 10:30 a.m. Monday. A media advisory indicates there will be an announcement, “befitting public safety and job creation for families in the Okanagan.”

Eric Foster, Vernon-Monashee MLA, would not speculate on the outcome of the press conference.

“I have been told there will be an announcement tomorrow,” he told The Morning Star.

Lumby, the Osoyoos Indian Band, the Penticton Indian Band and Summerland had applied for a 360-cell facility.

However, the concept of a prison divided Lumby residents.

During a referendum in April, 56 per cent of those who voted in the village said yes to a prison while 44 per cent said no. In adjacent Area D of the North Okanagan Regional District, 34 per cent voted yes while 66 per cent voted no.

While some residents insisted a facility would bolster the economy and draw new families to the area, others were concerned about public safety and that Lumby’s image may become one of a prison town.

Foster believes Monday’s decision — no matter what it is — will be good for residents of Lumby and area.

“It will be done,” he said of the debate that has dominated the community.

Look for more details shortly after an announcement is made Monday at www.vernonmorningstar.com