The study by the WSU research team who concluded that prison towns do not experience economic development once they are known as a prison town was insightful Ń thank you D. O’Gorman.
Had I known that Penticton would be having a prison I would not have moved here. Since this area is fast becoming a retirement community, we have to keep in mind that seniors are vulnerable victims and daytime home invasions are on the rise. When a prisoner is released they do not get a free ticket out of town, but end up on the local streets. Just recently a killer escaped from a minimum-security prison in Mission, B.C. (Tell me what he was doing in minimum security?) Talk about a negative environment, people living in fear.
Why can’t the city go for a positive environment like wellness development, which would attract both professional and nonprofessional workers (when you are new here it is impossible to find a family doctor). The goal would be to become the centre for research and health care for the Interior. Areas like geriatrics (Alzheimer’s, diabetes and eye care) research, cancer and mental health, to name a few, are just some topics that affect all of us in one way or another. It would be a very long-term endeavour, but one that contributes to our well-being, not diminishes it. This website (www.avdha.nshealth.ca/community/ekchb/downloads/ekchb_healthplan05.doc) is an example of a caring positive community.
And there are other numerous options this city can take. Retirement communities are popping up and some very innovative ideas are making retirement years exciting, comfortable and providing employment for everyone. As an example, Elliot Lake, Ont. has a website that promotes retiree living. What we have here now is very disconnected and scattered.
This city council needs to look at long-term goals and discard the tunnel vision that limits Penticton to narrow, quick and easy, short-term fixes that divide the community.