Prison could be on agenda

There are concerns a contentious issue could dominate the civic election in Lumby.

There are concerns a contentious issue could dominate the civic election in Lumby.

The community has been split over a proposed prison since a referendum in April but a decision on location has not been made by the provincial government.

“I’m sure some people will use this as an election issue,” said Coun. Lori Mindnich.

Nominations for the Nov. 19 municipal election began Tuesday.

Council members discussed a correctional facility with Solicitor General Shirley Bond in Vancouver last week.

“We have been told it won’t be an election issue,” said Mayor Kevin Acton.

“But there will have to be a decision from the ministry very soon.”

Council has been pushing for a decision since spring.

“They’re sorry it’s been dragged out but they say it’s an important decision with little money available,” said Acton of the ministry.

Also bidding on a prison are Summerland, the Penticton Indian Band and the Osoyoos Indian Band.

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

Council decided to apply for a prison based on village results.

“The people of Lumby spoke and we need to move forward,” said Mindnich, adding that the focus should be economic development no matter what happens in the long run with a correctional facility.