Open letter to Steve Clark, M.P.P.

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Dear MPP Clark:

It’s been close to two months since you and I spoke briefly when I saw you on Oxford Street West in Kemptville. Since that time, I have thought frequently about your comments on that day, specifically your response to my statement that we were disappointed that you had not responded to our questions. Your answer – that you had responded and that I just didn’t like the answers – was another disappointment, and frankly dismissive and unbecoming of a member of the provincial legislature. Surely you grasped the nuance of my statement enough to understand that I was not talking solely about myself or the grassroots organization I represent, the Coalition Against the Proposed Prison (CAPP), but instead, of the many local residents asking thoughtful questions and expressing legitimate concern and opposition.

Scores of people have confirmed in conversation and email messages to us and our Jail Opposition Group partners, as well as on social media posts, that you have failed to acknowledge and respond to their questions and concerns. In addition to the letters and emails we understand you have received, you have had a front row seat to the legitimate concerns of local residents through a number of public events – the Solicitor General’s November 26, 2020 on-line session, the March 23, 2021(through your surrogate Doug Brewer), and June 22, 2021 North Grenville Municipal Council meetings. There were several striking moments from the June 22nd meeting, from your failure to respond to the information revealed through the access to information request, to your denial of changes to the funding of policing costs associated with provincial correctional facilities. From the perspective of many, beyond ministry generated talking points and evasive answers, you have indeed failed to respond in any genuine way to the people of North Grenville.
If you want to personalize the matter of you failing to respond to your constituents, I can confirm that you did not respond to the two emails that I sent to you early on – long before you would have heard my name in association with CAPP – about the proposed “Greater Ottawa Correctional Complex”. I am also forwarding an as-yet unaddressed request made by my colleague, Victor Lachance, for representatives from CAPP and JOG to meet with you to discuss the topic.

If you wish to present yourself as representing the people of North Grenville, perhaps you could start by advocating for the release of the additional 135 pages that were withheld from the public on the subject of the selection of Kemptville as the prison site. Beyond that, please find below a link to a video with the voices of North Grenville residents bringing to life the critical issues facing this community should the plan proceed, and challenging you to represent your constituents on this important matter. Are you ready to step up to the plate?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WXsiNCbgdg&t=111s

Sincerely,

Colleen Lynas,
Coalition Against the Proposed Prison (Kemptville)

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