Letter to the Editor – Growth in Kemptvville

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Dear Editor,

I, for one, am all for growth in Kemptville. I want to see the town thrive and to see local businesses doing booming business, and for that to happen we need more people. We need growth. There are two ways for a town to grow, organically, or by design. If Amazon plopped a massive warehouse nearby, by design, Kemptville would no doubt increase in population. The proposed jail, also by design, will likely not increase the local population, as most workers (and inmates) will be transitory. But what will definitely happen if the jail is built in Kemptville, is that all organic growth will cease and Kemptville will stagnate and wither. There are many people living in Ottawa who are now looking to move out of the big city to nearby rural communities. The pandemic has created a paradigm shift in where and how people are able to work, allowing them to move out of the city. As well, housing has become unaffordable for most in Ottawa, causing them to look to rural towns where affordable housing still exists. Almonte, Richmond, Winchester, Kemptville… these are all towns close enough for people who want out of the city, but wish to remain close enough to avail themselves of its many amenities. But a year from now, when we will be known as a “prison town,” who is going to choose to move to Kemptville when there are so many alternatives? It will be the end of organic growth in Kemptville. The town will wither. If you want to see businesses continue to grow in this town, and if you want to see them flourish, I highly suggest you do what you can to oppose the imposition of this jail.

Marty Pemberton
Oxford Mills

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