I have had the privilege and opportunity as owner of a small Company headquartered in Kemptville to offer ‘community relations programs’ in over 200 rural Communities from Quebec to British Columbia over the past 20+ years. I have observed the culture around ‘jail towns’ over these years, and would initially make these observations: in my opinion, jails only operate successfully in proximity to a city, where the negative impact can be better dissipated over a larger population, or even better in a remote location; and secondly, the impact of placing jails close to small communities is significant – namely to schools, crime rates, real estate values, policing, and the overall negative effect on the ‘sense of community’ generally experienced as an attractive asset in smaller rural communities. All one needs to do is to ask the local folks in these locales. They would tell you that any community benefits to a prison project like this are much more than offset by the negatives in their communities.
Please don’t get me wrong. We need jails, and, arguably, maybe even more of them. But this is an unwise decision produced by a desperately flawed process. We already have a Federal government looking more like a kakistocracy every day; let’s not operate our Province and Municipality the same way. Remember, EVERYTHING rises and falls on leadership.
Folks, we deserve better than this. Let’s get to work, do our research, and end this project before it begins.