Brent Merchant, with the Ministry of Public Safety, responds to a question about lighting at prisons during a meeting at Charles Bloom Secondary School Wednesday.

Brent Merchant, with the Ministry of Public Safety, responds to a question about lighting at prisons during a meeting at Charles Bloom Secondary School Wednesday.

Large crowd debates prison in Lumby

A huge crowd turned out to debate a proposed correctional facility in Lumby Wednesday.

More than 500 people crammed into the Charles Bloom Secondary School gymnasium to ask Ministry of Public Safety representatives questions about the prospect of a prison being built in the community.

“I’m not here to sell anything,” said Brent Merchant, assistant deputy minister with the corrections branch.

“I’m not here to make you want a jail or not want a jail.”

Some residents expressed concern that a prison will attract criminals and drug activity.

“What are the socio-economic impacts gangs would have on Lumby?” asked Huguette Allen.

Others wanted to know how a prison would be serviced with water and sewer, and would land uses around a jail be restricted.

“If a wood chipper is running next to the facility, will you have issues with it?” said Doug Brown.

Residents of Lumby and adjacent Area D go to the polls April 30 to vote on whether they want a prison in the community.

 

For more about Wednesday’s meeting, check out Friday’s Morning Star.

 

 

Vernon Morning Star