Letter to the Editor – Correctional Facility

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Dear Editor,

Many times I have drafted a letter to the editor and then not submitted it for concern that I was having a knee-jerk reaction to Clark’s proposed jail for Kemptville. I would like to thank David Shanahan for his various contributions on the subject, particularly his summary of his interview with our mayor, Nancy Peckford, in which she stated that she did not use the proposed jail as a bargaining chip to obtain support for things such as her proposed Highway 43 improvements. Her statement seemed sincere even though one is still left wondering why she has chosen to not resist the jail. But let us focus on Steve Clark, since it is he who is facilitating the prison being built here, not in our back yard, as it were, but in our front yard, right on Prescott Street/CR44. And thank you again David for shedding historical light on the person of Steve Clark. David describes him as a (formerly, at least) liked and respected MPP. David also feels that Clark is caught in his role as a Cabinet Minister, having to support Doug Ford’s ideas.

And yet, Clark has over-zealously taken on his new role. Look at how he has attacked those opposing the jail. He alleged that those opposed to the jail are few in number – and are “special interest groups from outside the region”! Really?! We all know full well that JOG and CAPP are local groups – and, as a community, we are indebted to them for taking on this issue on our behalf.

Can you believe that Clark would have the audacity to formally complain to Elections Ontario that CAPP and JOG were violating Ford’s (unconstitutional, by the way) act Protecting Elections and Defending Democracy Act (and would be more appropriately titled Protecting Ford Act). Fortunately, Elections Ontario has shown a lot more wisdom than Clark or Ford by rejecting the complaint. THIS IS THE ACTION OF OUR “REPRESENTATIVE”?! Attempting to silence the people of North Grenville?! This goes beyond “towing the line” with Ford, as Clark is all too enthusiastic with his power – to wit, his multitude of Ministerial Zoning Orders to override legislation. When he attacks us, he is no longer deserving of our support.

What can we do? You can try to convince the Mayor and Council to stand up and represent us in this matter. Fortunately, we have JOG and CAPP working diligently to represent our interests. Give them your support. Next time they have a Go Fund Me campaign, contribute to it. Write a letter to the editor. Write to Steve Clark. PUT UP A LAWN SIGN THAT SAYS “NO PRISON”. Even though the number of signs currently displayed in Kemptville is pathetically small, Clark has taken notice of them. I am not one to be confrontational, but Clark’s behaviour needs to be confronted. Imagine if he saw 5,000 lawn signs in North Grenville! We DO get a say in this matter – next June, when the provincial elections occur. Meanwhile, you can vote early by putting up a lawn sign. To me, a lawn without a sign shows support for the jail. You can get a sign for a mere $10 from JOG (or contact CAPP).

John Brooks

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