From Peach City to Prison City

The residents of Penticton, various organizations, including former city councils and mayors, worked hard for decades to bring the city status where we are today and we are proud to promote our city as Peach City and as one of the best place in the country and on earth.

The present city council and mayor’s decision to support the building of a new prison in the city would change all that. Retirees and seniors look at the various facilities and institutions before deciding to move to a new location. If the proposed prison is built in our city, its image will change from Peach City to Prison City because it would bring hundreds of inmates and criminals within its boundaries.

A new prison in the city will dominate its outlook and image for decades to come. The city’s future growth will be severely impaired as it would not be able to attract seniors and retirees because of the prison in the city. Inmates, when released from a prison, usually have no savings of their own, lack a reliable source of income and employers are very reluctant to hire them because of their background, lack of skill and reliability.

Visiting buddies of the accused or inmates usually share the same background or have similar history; thus, increasing the traffic of criminals in the city. Pretty soon they all will be exploring the neighbourhoods and the commercial locations, causing a serious security concern and safety to everyone but more so to all seniors and elderly.

We don’t want the city to lose its present status and the pride and freedom we all enjoy. We all need to wake up and must do whatever we can to stop the city from bringing a prison within its boundaries and vicinity. We must also preserve and use the city’s land mass for future residential development so that other Canadians who dream to move here can find a place to live and afford living here.

We should also learn from Kelowna — they rejected the proposed prison in their backyard.

Raj Grewal