Letter to the Editor – Correctional Facility

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Dear Editor,

I wanted to share the results of a follow-up survey regarding the proposed correctional facility in Kemptville. It was conducted between December 16 and 21 and was posted on a number of local Facebook groups. 312 people responded. When conducted in September, 191 people completed the survey. In terms of where respondents lived, just over 44% of respondents lived more than 5 km away, with the rest within 5 km.

A new question was added asking how respondents used the Kemptville Campus. Almost 38% said they did not use it at all, while just over half said they used it recreationally. In terms of other uses, about 13% had children attending schools on the campus, while an equal number were clients of businesses located there.

Almost 36% of all respondents were in favour of the facility being built, with about 54% against and just over 10% not sure of where they stood on this. In September when this question was asked, those in favour and against were split about equally at 40%, with 10% still not sure.

In looking at the results by the distance from the proposed facility, the closer one lived to the proposed facility, the greater likelihood they were not in favour of it being built.

However, regardless of distance, those against always outnumbered those in favour. This was a change from September, where those against outnumbered those in favour only where the respondent lived less than 1km away.

There was also a drop in the number of those not sure of how they felt towards the facility being built, with this drop across all distances from the facility.

Being against the facility was also prominent among those who use the Kemptville campus with almost 2/3rd of campus users against it, while almost 50% of non-users were in favour.

Restating the question of whether they would support building the facility by asking if views were different if there were economic benefits to the community, those in favour rose by 7%, while those against dropped by 8%.

People were divided equally on the risk to residents the facility would pose (about 45% for both groups). This represented an increase since September of about 8% for those who felt there was risk .

In terms of the impact on property values, almost 48% thought the values would go down, a 4% increase from September.10% thought they would go up, a drop of 15% from September.

Finally, when asked how they felt about the consultations by the province, as was the case in September, just over half of respondents felt it did not matter what the community thinks as the province has already announced what it intends to do. However, the number of people who wanted to learn more about the proposal dropped from about half to 36%.

Mitch Bloom, Oxford Mills

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