Letter to the Editor – Correctional Facility

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Dear Editor,

In a letter last week, Mr. S. Hamill underlined my disappointment with the Conservative Party and Mr. Clark, our local MPP. He did so in what seemed to be a hectoring tone.

But here’s the thing: If I blindly continued to support a party which has become blatantly undemocratic and inconsiderate of the citizenry, what would he say then? I can imagine. And he’d be right.

Mr. Hamill, I took the commitment of the Conservatives in the last election to attend to the “Voice of the People”, to be “For the people” as criteria according to which they could be assessed. Both terms are in their election literature and Plan For The People.

Help is on the way. The Ontario PC Party will clean up the mess in government and restore respect for taxpayers.

On August 29, when the Conservative government kicked democratic practice aside and, without a moment’s consultation, announced the decision to dictatorially impose a large jail on our small (4,000) town of Kemptville, with all the social, fiscal, and economic costs this implies, I abandoned the Conservative Party. Just as it had so callously abandoned the people of Kemptville and greater North Grenville, as well as any pretense to caring for “the people”. This brutally disrespectful decision will harm Kemptville far into the future. And democracy, as well as trust in government, are the first casualties.

As I have discovered, all research I have read shows economic disadvantages for small towns with jails over the medium and long term. In addition, large costs incurred for infrastructure changes (wastewater treatment) will be borne by local taxpayers in accordance with the province’s habit of downloading. Policing costs for the coming spike in crime stats will be borne by the local taxpayer. And so on.

So yes , Mr. Hamill. Mea culpa. I am a recovering FORMER Conservative supporter. That’s because I have expectations of those for whom I vote. And they had better live up to them. I invite everyone to have expectations of those for whom they vote. And act accordingly.

Jim Bertram

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