Money could be spent elsewhere

Dear Editor:

What if, we the people of Summerland, drafted a letter and sent it to our provincial government and it went like this:

Thank you for the opportunity to build a correction facility in our community. We know that this facility will provide short-term jobs in construction and long-term jobs in services needed to maintain the facility.

As much as we appreciate the opportunity for this economic stimulus, we graciously decline.

Instead, we would like the money to go to restoring services to those individuals who suffer from mental illness, addiction problems, and physical handicaps. We would also like you to use the money to fully fund our schools and all the services they provide in supporting individuals who may otherwise resort to criminal activities.

We would also like you to use the money to help stimulate local food production. The purchase of currently empty green houses would be a good start. Eventually these green houses would provide food for all those living in the Okanagan Valley and would be self-sustaining and would contribute immensely to our local economy.

We would also like you to use the money to invest in a transportation system throughout the valley. This also would eventually be self-sustaining and not only provide jobs, but reduce the number of vehicles on our highways and thus reduce our carbon footprint.

We would also like you to use the money to help us become more independent with our power grid. With the recent increases in our power bills, it would seem like an opportune time to invest in wind and solar energy. 

With all the money used to restore programs and invest in local industries, the need for a prison would actually disappear – instead of resorting to crime, potential criminals would have been identified and given the necessary support to positively contribute to our community. And , instead of the prison using up all kinds of our tax dollars to sustain it, the  new jobs would eventually not require a dime of money from you – and instead would increase the revenue to our local and provincial coffers.

Thank you  for the opportunity for a prison, but no thanks.

Leslie Kemp

Summerland