Lumby’s future at stake

Everyone knows that politicians, at all levels, don’t always make the right decisions but they have lasting effects. We need a referendum on this proposed prison that includes Areas D and E.  Some Lumby people say “But they don’t pay taxes to Lumby” – not directly, but the majority of our land taxes go to local services such as schools, police, curling rink, arena, community centre, park facilities, grants, library, etc. We also are big supporters of Lumby businesses.

Re: Grande Cache. Comparing Lumby to them is absurd. We are less than half the size and to have a 20-acre prison facility in the centre of our little village is ridiculous.  Look at a map of Alberta. Grande Cache is in the middle of nowhere with Hinton being the closest town at 145 km away (of course the employees live there).

Lumby is close to Lavington/Coldstream, big city shopping and hospitals and Silver Star Mtn. Lumby has so much more! Grande Cache was built less than 40 years ago because of a coal mine which later closed.  It needs a prison or it’s a ghost town.  Lumby has been here 140 years and many hundreds of descendants of the original pioneers still live here, even into their old age. I wonder how many retirees stay in Grande Cache, much further north with more severe winters.

We have noticed that some people pushing hard for a prison for whatever their reasons, financial gain or otherwise, do not even live in Lumby limits and probably never will. The few prison supporters who toured the Kamloops Correctional Centre had nice words for it, but did they notice it’s not in the centre of even such a big city?

Our son grew up here and was shocked to learn that little Lumby is considering a prison within its boundaries.  He has lived in Agassiz and now Chilliwack, both much larger than Lumby and both having prisons nearby.  A few of his comments follow.

1.  The prisons are located quite a distance from the downtown core and residential areas and not visible, including the round-the-clock security lights.

2.  Many of the visitors to the inmates are of the less desirable type (his actual words were more harsh).

3.  If there’s word of an escape, families keep their doors locked (as the fellow from Drumheller  said, “Escapes do happen”).

We had planned to build a new house soon and continue our retirement within the village limits but not if it’s known as a prison town with lowered house values.  If we feel that way, after we’ve lived here for 47 years and Penny for 60 years, what will potential new families or retirees think and feel?

Love and fear are two emotions that sway people. Will people love or fear a Lumby prison?

Lake Country is bemoaning a lack of tax dollars, blaming it on inflation not lack of a big industry,  will be raising homeowners’ taxes and they refused the prison!

Vernon Jubilee Hospital states they have an extreme shortage of nurses and beds and had to cancel 11 surgeries and recently turn away patients who weren’t considered critical.  How much more strain will be put on VJH with an additional population of 720 in the Lumby prison; will they have to wait like the rest of us when we have to be admitted to emergency or do they just go to the front of the line with their guard or guards?

What ever happened to the desire to beautify Lumby to attract people to live here? Once a prison is here, whatever its consequences, it’s here to stay.

Patience dear people, patience.

Brian & Penny Jones

Lumby