Frustration expressed over prison decision delay

Summerland Mayor Janice Perrino had a chance to tell BC Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor-General face to face that she is angry the lack of response to Summerland’s bid for a provincial prison.

Summerland Mayor Janice Perrino had a chance to tell BC Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor-General face to face that she is angry the lack of response to Summerland’s bid for a provincial prison.

Perrino met with the minister, Shirley Bond, at the Union of BC Municipalities annual convention in Vancouver in late September and let her know she is frustrated about the continuing delay in a decision about a site for the prison. Summerland is one of four communities that have submitted site proposals.

“We have had our citizens on alert since December,” said Perrino. “I wanted her to know how frustrated I was. I was very angry about the lack of communication and the treatment of our citizens.”

Perrino said the solicitor-general was “very apologetic” but still had no information to offer on when — or if — the prison location would be announced.

The solicitor-general was one of four ministers Perrino met with during the convention to air Summerland concerns. With Blair Lekstrom, minister of transportation and infrastructure, the discussion was about Summerland’s lack of public transit, despite promises made two years ago.

“We even have the bus shelters,” said Perrino.

She told Lekstrom Summerland doesn’t need those massive urban buses. Public transit is “something we want to promote as much as possible.”

“They are aware of the problem.”  Perrino said Lekstrom was also “very apologetic” and promised to work on it.

Michael de Jong, Minister of Health. told Perrino he would check into the issue of lake water quality monitoring. In July the Interior Health Authority halted its monitoring program, leaving it up to municipalities to test the water at their beaches.

“We want it re-implemented.,” said Perrino.

“Once again they were not aware that this had happened and they were going to check in to it.”

Perrino also went along with a delegation from the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen  to find out why a grant application failed in the plan for Summerland to supply water to Faulder.

“I went along to make sure they know Summerland was on board with this.”

Perrino has attended the UBCM convention every second year in her combined nine years as a councillor and a mayor for Summerland. This year Don DeGagne, municipal administrator, also attended.

Perrino said the convention was worthwhile for her, with useful education sessions and a chance to network with others in municipal government.  BC Hydro’s Smart Meter program was a hot topic, as was a provincial plan to audit municipalities. Urban wildlife problems, often involving deer and geese, are common to B.C.’s municipalities and an educational session covered different ways to deal with them. In another session Perrino learned about the problems municipalities and their police forces face with marijuana growing operations.

Even the trade show associated with the UBCM convention was useful. Perrino brought home information on “the neatest garbage can” which crushes the trash and saves landfill space.


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