I thought I might connect a few dots from last week’s edition of the Times. First, I agree with Michael Whittaker about the importance of safeguarding our historic environment and to preserve our natural heritage. As he notes: “The safeguarding of our historic environment is essential to our sense of community identity”. I am sure that Mr. Whittaker must be among the many residents of Kemptville who wish to preserve the farmland and the heritage buildings that will be destroyed if the proposed Kemptville prison gets built.
Meanwhile, the World Council on City Data saw fit to recognise North Grenville for its ISO Certification. If only the ISO methodology were applied to the proposed prison; unfortunately our Municipal Council has chosen to ignore the available research, data, evidence, and expertise about how the proposed prison will affect Kemptville, and instead continues to pursue wishful thinking about government talking points, as well as the costs that will be borne by NG taxpayers.
And then we have Councillor Sullivan asking, “why not here”, for the proposed prison, as if to say that she has not seen or heard about the answer in countless letters, articles, editorials and Op-Eds in the news media, including the Times. Yes, we are a caring community. But, if we truly do care, then we would oppose building a place that incarcerates the addicted and the mentally ill, let alone a disproportionate population of Black and Indigenous people.
We would invest in preventing people from falling into a provincial justice system that has repeatedly failed to do what Doreen simply hopes it will do. We would push the provincial government – of any stripe – to do what they have said they should do: fix the broken bail and remand system, which would solve overcrowding and thereby remove the need for another prison. And we would save the farmland and its buildings for the benefit of all the people in our community.
Now, that would truly be a heritage safeguarding, data-driven decision making, caring community.