Prison will hurt region

What’s that? You want to build a prison in the Okanagan? And who’s brilliant idea was this? Whoever you are that suggested this absurd idea, give your head a shake.

Oh, yes, it will create some jobs all right and some people will make a lot of money off such a project. But at what and who’s expense? And, how many jobs will be lost and businesses close and people move away?

The Okanagan Valley is the premier tourist destination in all of Canada. Warm climate, sandy beaches, wineries, orchards, ski hills, lush scenery; everything tourists want. Penticton and several smaller communities in the South Okanagan are also the home to a large retirement population who come because of the weather and services available to them. Will having a prison in the Okanagan impact these two groups … you bet it will. It will have a huge negative impact on the Okanagan Valley and the community in which it locates.

If you were in prison and offered a chance to serve your time in the sunny Okanagan or some desolate place, where would you want to go? I’m sure there will be a “waiting list” to get into the Okanagan prison. What’s wrong with building the prison on a piece of rock in the Queen Charlotte Islands or some other remote, uncomfortable location?

Come on Okanaganers, put a stop to this absurdity. Let your mayor and MLA know how you feel and don’t let them ruin our precious valley.

Joe Sather, Calgary, Alta.


— Born and raised in Penticton