Letter to the Editor – Correctional Facility

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Dear Editor,

It is interesting to read the letters regarding the proposed new prison. To set the scene: I am not completely opposed to the prison, but I am not totally supportive either. But, I’d like to make a few observations.

  1. Many have said that there are no capabilities to look after inmates in Kemptville, like the Elizabeth Fry Society. Is that not because there is currently no correctional facility in Kemptville? Once built, these capabilities will arrive, surely.
  2. One letter cited higher than normal figures for sexual harassment in Lindsay, where a facility exists. This may be true, but Samford Fleming College is also in Lindsay: a facility with many, many students. Might there be a correlation between locations with many students and the number of sexual harassments? (I am NOT saying this is true, but it might be a contributing factor.) Are there higher than normal figures in Kingston with its many prisons and a University? Citing one example can not be considered the norm.
  3. Many letters state that the good agricultural land should not be used for this facility. Others state that the land can be used to grow corn and soy beans. Two things come to mind: firstly, corn and soy are grown all over the world. Neither crop is unique to Ontario. I recall a few years ago, farmers asking for subsidies because the price for corn was so low they were not covering their costs. So is the land really that profitable? Is not corn used as feed for livestock, which is increasingly being viewed as a not very efficient way to ‘grow meat’? These crops are grown cheaper in other countries so we import them in order to minimize increases in food costs. If we are ALL willing (and able?) to pay more for our food, then farmers would make a decent living. Governments pay subsidies from the taxes everyone pays to the government….so ultimately we are paying anyway.
  4. I find it amusing that this riding has voted Conservative for years and years and years. The Conservative Party holds itself up to being the party for law & order and tough on crime, so it’s a bit royal to be complaining about a correctional facility being built by the Conservative government when the riding delivers Conservative MPPs ad infinitum.
  5. And of course the Solicitor General has the right to locate a facility where s/he wants, because no-one wants a facility in their location. It’s hardly a vote getter is it?
  6. North Grenville has got to find a way of keeping its population working closer to home. Currently, 70%, I believe, of people work outside to Municipality (me included!). Surely any option should be explored and encouraged to keep people working locally.

Correctional staff will be well paid and some of those salaries will remain in North Grenville. Is that a bad thing? There will be extra employment in NG: how can there not be?

Basically the prison is pretty much a done deal, we know that, but let’s not all be so gloomy and accept the fact that it will be here. I hope Council will use this as an opening to get the taxpayer to fund some of the well-needed upgrades the Municipality needs….here’s our opportunity.

Andrew M. Thriscutt

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