Letter to the Editor

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Dear Editor,

This note is in respect of public Consultations on the proposed jail in Kemptville. The notice is biased against anyone spending time participating in the process, because it states that the jail “will be built” and fundamentally flaws the consultation process. There is no public benefit cost study of the jail’s impacts on each of Kemptville and Ontario. For Kemptville, such costs must include data on:

  1. Migration of criminal families and loved ones into Kemptville and surrounds to be in sufficiently close proximity to visit. (What is your evidence? Don’t say “None,” because that is blatantly false.)
  2. Resultant uptake in the distribution of illicit drugs; What are your estimates?
  3. Increased deaths resulting from those practices (n.b., The United States Department of Transport places the value of road fatalities in the US at $9 million (USD), Presumably, Canadian lives are no less valuable). How are the people of Kemptville to be remunerated for related loss of loved ones?
  4. As anyone who has spent any time in ER wards these days is aware, not all overdosing patients die, but go on to recurring visits to the ER at $1,500/ night, or over $500,000 per year, while stressing out staff at the hopelessness of their efforts. How is Kemptville to be remunerated for such costs?
  5. What are the subsequent costs of well recognized drug related additional robberies and home invasions to support the inevitable additional drug habits?
  6. What are the subsequent costs of increased numbers of highway and machinery-operator accidents from those attracted populations driving under drug influence?
  7. How is Ontario going to remunerate the people of Kemptville for the above costs?

We also note this is intended to be a “Mixed facility”. Presumably this refers to a mix of criminals classified by seriousness of crimes and risk of escape requiring maximum, medium, and minimum security. Such models have been known to be training grounds for criminals since Dickens’ days. Why is Ontario perpetuating such errors? The resulting costs from training neophyte criminals to be master criminals also need to be part of the costs above.

Offsetting these costs are some benefits accruing to each of Ontario and Kemptville. Each of which need to be established. Benefits, such as having criminals off the street, may accrue largely to Ontario, but, we suspect, much less so to Kemptville, despite its rapid population growth.

Peter Gunther

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