Referendum question inked in Lumby

Lumby residents now know the exact wording for a referendum on a proposed prison.

Lumby residents now know the exact wording for a referendum on a proposed prison.

On Tuesday, council approved the question for the April 30 vote. It reads, “Do you support pursuing the development of a provincial correction centre within the Village of Lumby?”

“We spent a lot of time thinking about the question,” said Coun. Tracy Williamson.

“It goes beyond just gathering information. We are looking for permission to pursue a facility.”

Coun. Lori Mindnich says the wording had to be exact to minimize any potential public confusion.

“We wanted to make sure people know that we want their opinion on getting it here,” she said of a prison.

“We wanted the question to be as clear as possible.”

It’s believed the referendum will cost about $5,000, and Mindnich defends the expense.

“That (referendum) is what people wanted,” she said.

Lumby Concerned Citizens, which opposes a prison, is satisfied with the question.

“It seems clear enough and I know how I’ll be voting on it,” said Paul Fisher, spokesperson.

In preparation for the referendum, Lumby Concerned Citizens will hold a meeting at the White Valley Community Centre Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.

“It’s for people who are opposed to a prison and for those people who are undecided and want more information,” said Fisher.

The adjacent Area D, which includes Whitevale, Trinity Valley, Mabel Lake, will also hold a referendum April 30 using the same question as the village.

“This is an opportunity for my constituents to have a say,” said director Rick Fairbairn.

Because it is outside of Lumby’s boundaries, any results in Area D would not be binding on village council.

It doesn’t appear that a similar process will occur in Area E (Cherryville).

“I haven’t had one call from people asking for a referendum,” said director Eugene Foisy.