Referendum required

Lumby village council is about to make a decision on the most significant development in Lumby's history: the Prison. For better or worse, if a prison is located in Lumby, it will change Lumby forever. What scares me is the thought that such a huge decision will be made through a phone poll. A phone poll in which a person can register to be contacted by a pollster. If this plan is followed through with, the results will always be in doubt. Did the "No" side get all of its people to register for the poll? Did the "Yes" side get organized? Did council preview the list of registrants? Any reputable polling company would not conduct a poll on this basis.

Lumby village council is about to make a decision on the most significant development in Lumby’s history: the Prison. For better or worse, if a prison is located in Lumby, it will change Lumby forever. What scares me is the thought that such a huge decision will be made through a phone poll. A phone poll in which a person can register to be contacted by a pollster. If this plan is followed through with, the results will always be in doubt. Did the “No” side get all of its people to register for the poll? Did the “Yes” side get organized? Did council preview the list of registrants? Any reputable polling company would not conduct a poll on this basis.

The only way that citizens’ views can accurately and legitimately be measured is through a referendum. Mayor Acton has said that there is not enough time to hold a referendum. If there is a will, however, there is a way. The province has tried for years to locate a prison somewhere in the Okanagan. In that respect, it wouldn’t matter if it took another month to complete a referendum. Then the province and this area would know that all residents were allowed a say and that their vote is binding. Mayor Acton and council owe all of the citizens of Lumby and area a vote on this critical issue, both morally and legally. I urge the citizens of Lumby and area to contact our mayor, councillors and area reps and demand a referendum.

Paul Fisher

Correctional Institution Debate

In response to the debates concerning a correctional institution in the Lumby area, may I say there appears to be many people who are needlessly living and feeling fear. I worked in the correctional system for many years as a guard dealing with both male and female clientele.

Having a facility brings a lot of positives such as job security and better than minimum wage offered, which was excellent for my family. Institutions also provide business opportunities such as the supplying of local food, cleaning, the contracting out while in the building process, ongoing care of the grounds, etc. to keep the facility running plus a greater tax base for the area. The jobs created in running the institution also give more stability to the town as persons working in these places are all police checked and well trained.

This idea that incarcerated people are walking around the streets is so wrong as the whole purpose is that they are behind security fencing under guard and not built on the main street. In most cases, unless you have a reason to go to the institution, you wouldn’t even know they exist as they are built to blend with the surrounding area and aren’t offensive to see.

As a taxpayer, yes, it costs money to run these places, but as long as there are people breaking Canada’s laws that we have asked to have in place, there has to be a secure facility to house them in.

It is much better living in an area where there are people trained to look after these incarcerated people than in an area where you really don’t know who is walking beside you and what their history is. Another plus for an institution being built in the Okanagan is for the families of those incarcerated being able to visit their loved ones.

It is presently a hardship requiring travel and accommodation to see them and part of the rehabilitation process is to try and keep families in touch, and visits are important. This, of course, creates another business opportunity as these visitors will spend time and money in Lumby which is also good for the economy. This is also a great time for local camping areas and outdoor promotions and vendors’ markets to ramp up and show the value of living in this great area.

To all those people who watch those jailhouse shows on TV and are afraid, we live in the 21st century and there will always be a need for correctional facilities. Theses institutions are needed and are a benefit to the town they are built in as they promote excellent job opportunities and are a great spin-off to local businesses. They do create a greater security in general for the area.

The town of Lumby should be glad for this opportunity to host a correctional facility in their area for all the benefits it will bring.

Rose Carson

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