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Prison will destroy town's reputation

Dear Editor:

As relative newcomers to Summerland, by my wife and I were appalled to hear that this area could be considered as a possible site for a medium security prison.

We both sent a long time researching where in the region we wanted to make our home now that we are retired, finally deciding on Summerland because of all that it seemed to offer, with its ideal location, friendly people, good climate, etc.

Had we known there was even the remotest possibility that this wonderful area could have its reputation forever destroyed by being known as a prison town, we would never have even considered moving here.

We have several friends and acquaintances who are keen to relocate here. Some, like ourselves are retire while we know of one young family with children who are currently preparing to move to this area and open a business.

All are now aware of the current situation and have stated categorically that they will not move here if this proposal were to proceed.

Make no mistake, this plan, should it go ahead, will not be the solution to the economic woes facing Summerland.

Any short-term economic benefit relating to the actual construction of such a facility will be more than offset by the permanent stigma which will inevitably accompany it.

As parents ourselves with grown children in the area, we are very well aware of the lack of employment opportunities for young people locally, but do you really believe that a career in the prison service will be the goal of many high school graduates?

Let’s continue to promote this region as a family-friendly destination, well-known for its beauty and recreational facilities and an area in which people of all ares will want to live and thrive.

Bernard and Betty Butler