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I am writing this in response to Don Nelson's "Prison Consideration" letter. He explains how "Wilkie" had no negative effects on the Victoria community, and that we should expect the same for Lumby. I have a few issues with this comparison.
To begin, of course, a prison wouldn't negatively affect a city the size of Victoria. It is recognized nationwide and has much to offer its 330,000 residents. A prison is but one of hundreds of things the city has to offer. Furthermore, the prison exists on the outskirts of the Victoria metropolitan area, and has no direct effect on the citizens' daily lives.
In comparison, Lumby is a town of 1,760 people. While we have no metropolitan area, the prison would be minutes from our "city" centre.
While Nelson lived in the area and "drove by it every day," not everyone who lives in Victoria needs to do that. The difference here is that whether you live in Whitevale, towards Cherryville or in the city centre, the prison is going to be a focal point, even if just passing through.
While it may sound like the proposed area is far enough away from our downtown that it wouldn't be an issue, in reality, it is visible from my home in the city centre, and would impact many people's view of the town.
My second issue with his letter is that he claims he knows of "absolutely no negative impact" to the area, but in two separate cases prison guards have been attacked by inmates at Wilkinson Road Correctional Facility.
While these individuals may have been nameless faces in a city the size of Victoria, an incident like this would greatly affect the townspeople of Lumby.
Finally, he finishes his article by stating that Victoria still had "schools, churches, and the interurban campus of Camosun College" to offer its residents.
In Lumby, we have very little to offer those who live here. Sure, there is an elementary school and a high school.
However, that is where our facilities end. We have a couple of churches, yes, but as for important recreational and educational outlets to attract people to our town, there are none.
This is another main difference between Lumby and Victoria.
It is obvious that I do not support the jail coming to Lumby, and I believe there are better ways to create jobs and formulate a lasting impression of our town. Yet, I am all for an argument in favor of the prison.
However, I felt that this defense of the jail was unjustified, as the Wilkinson Road Correctional Facility in Victoria and the proposed Lumby prison are incomparable.