” Prison Town, USA ” ? …How about ” Prison Town, Lumby, BC.”

 

” What happens when a struggling rural community tries to revive its economy by inviting prisons in? “

This is the question that prompted two American film-makers to document the unintended consequences of building a prison in a small, rural community that was the post-card picture of bucolic life under majestic mountain peaks.

It also happens to be a burning question for many residents of the Lumby area whose mayor and former councillor, Kevin Acton, has been actively lobbying the provincial government for years to bring a prison to town,despite growing protest.

Today is the advance polling for a community referendum for or against a correctional facility in the Village of Lumby( pop.1681) that takes place April 30th . The once united community has become harshly divided as those for the prison balk against those who are against –  pitting neighbours against neighbours to a near breaking point.

My attention was piqued a few weeks ago after Global BC ran a story about the situation, and Mayor Acton was interviewed on camera. I can’t quote put my finger on what it was about Mayor Kevin Acton that made me go ” Hmmmm…”, but it was enough to get me looking into where this all started and what happened along the way.

A little history to get you up to speed. Correction facilities in the province have been overcrowded for years, increasing risk to both corrections staff and prisoners alike. The BCGEU has called for a new facility in the Okanogan in particular, because the Kamloops facility is holding nearly double the prisoners it was intended to house.

In 2008, the BC government abruptly cancelled a news conference where it was expected to announce a new facility in Kelowna. According to the BCGEU, the government even owns enough land already in Winfield, but no further announcements were made.

In April of last year, then Deputy Minister David Morhart wrote a letter to the BCGEU stating the following:

“We continue to recognize the long term need for additional capacity in the Central Interior and continue to consider the general Okanagan areas as the most appropriate location to meet the growing demand…. there has been no recent planning on an Okanagan facility, nor has funding approval been secured.”

Shortly thereafter, on May 17th, 2010, Village of Lumby Council issued a press release stating they were approaching the provincial government to consider locating a new correctional facility in Lumby, and they wanted to know what residents thought.

The release indicated some preliminary research meetings had taken place between councillors and corrections representatives, as well as politicians of provincial and federal levels, but in my opinion, the release is carefully worded to give the impression the entire idea was in the very first stages of conception.

Time for some research, which did not fail to immediately give an alternate view of what had gone on behind closed doors with council and the mayor. Lucky for me, the mayor seems to love the media and will talk incessantly when the opportunity presents itself.

What the 2010 press release failed to mention –  and what would not come out later that year- is that Mayor Acton had  already gone to former Solicitor General Kash Heed in  September of 2009, shortly after being elected mayor, and pushed him to give the prison to Lumby then.

Excerpt:

Lumby Mayor Kevin Acton is as surprised as Shepherd by the Liberal government‘s lack of decisiveness.
“I went down and saw (then-solicitor general) Kash Heed a couple of Septembers ago. His words after the meeting were, ‘If Lumby wants it, Lumby is going to get it.‘”
However, Heed then resigned – twice.
While Acton was waiting to see a new solicitor general, he had a chat with Premier Gordon Campbell, who was impressed with Lumby‘s attempts to get the jail.
“He got a bit of a twinkle in his eye and said, ‘We should be shopping this around; this is good for the community.‘”
Last fall, Acton cornered another solicitor general, Mike de Jong, at the Union of B.C. Municipalities‘ annual meeting.
“He said, ‘If you want it, get the community behind it, promote it and let the province know you want it.‘ He was going to send his controller for new corrections construction to Lumby Nov. 15, but the premier changed his ministers, and then Coleman put the brakes on everything and sent that letter out.

Hmmm. Kind of makes the question of public response look like a bit of a sham to my eyes. A bit more research clearly indicates that there was no mention of a prison in Acton’s campaign for mayor, nor was it ever brought up as an election issue as many residents feel it should have been.

Had Acton been honest about council’s push for a prison during his campaign, he might have mentioned that the Village of Lumby had  actually first hosted discussions about a correctional facility as early as 2008,as per the mayor’s own letter, and again when a special resolution was passed at an in-camera meeting in July of 2009. That resolution was not made public until  May of 2010, when it was moved from in-camera to an open resolution, at which time the public would have been privy to this information via the minutes of the meeting.

In his letter, Mayor Acton denied any prison discussions before the last election and justified that by referring to a resolution created in-camera and brought to a public meeting in May 2010. Only one set of May 2010 Minutes were available online, surprisingly those minutes contained the resolution  mentioned above, which revealed the date of that in-camera meeting – July 13th 2009.

That date proves false his assertion that no discussions took place and very damning is that the July 13th 2009 date in the resolution was removed from the Mayor’s letter :

If you can’t follow my logic here are some facts to check out:  The following is the resolution from the May 17th 2010 Minutes – note the date “July 13th, 2009″:

May_17th_2010_Minutes - July 13th 2009 resolution

The following is from Mayor Acton’s letter to Mr. Fisher – where the “July 13th 2009″ secret prison resolution meeting date is redacted:

Mayor Acton justifies secrecy - redacts meeting date

It get’s better. Former Lumby Mayor, Joanne Kineshanko  even wrote to the paper  with her concerns, saying “council has predetermined that a prison is going ahead”.

Kineshanko is convinced council has predetermined that a prison is going ahead and as a result, it’s unwilling to consider what she calls legitimate concerns.

 “They have only looked at a prison because they see monetary benefit from government grants-in-lieu of taxes,” she said.

 “They don’t appear to be willing to do any homework on the social and economic impacts from a facility. Council has decided this was a good thing for the community and they haven’t listened to the fact that a great number of people have concerns.”

Lumby’s current mayor denies allegations that council has pre-determined there will be a correctional facility.“It was just an idea we came up with and people were interested and we looked at it more,” said Kevin Acton.“I don’t know how we could be any more transparent. There have been no secret meetings.” Acton also denies council has been manipulated to lobby for a prison.“It was council and the mayor’s idea to pursue information,” he said

There have a variety of allegations and incidents that might make an impartial outsider agree with the former mayor, least of which is the special resolution passed by those three counsellors in July of 2009.

Why would three Councillors create a controversial resolution that conflicts with the OCP when they knew that within a month they would have a Mayor and full roster of councillors to debate the matter? How can we believe that three councillors on their own without a Mayor would just suddenly come up with a resolution to get a prison in Lumby without any previous discussion? Was it to circumvent the possibility that one other person was on the election ballot and that Kevin Acton may not be the Mayor in four weeks? Was it done so that Kevin Acton could say in future that he knew nothing of the prison resolution when he ran for office? Those questions are concerning –  as are the allegations councillors attended the local senior citizens home telling them their taxes would go up if they didn’t vote for the prison. Or that one councillor chased a resident down the street into a village shop in front of others, yelling at him for opposing the prison. Or that councillors and mayor appear to be mocking residents attending a council meeting prior to the meeting start, caught on video . ( parts 1,2 and 3 of the Feb.7th, pre-meeting banter)

Residents have good reason to be concerned about why this mayor and council are adamant on ramming this prison through, despite the referendum to come. There is a big difference in placing a correctional facility in a large town or city over a small, rural village.

As the documentary I opened this post about indicates, there may very well be some short term advantages to building a prison ( local construction work, supplies, etc) but research on american facilities built in rural areas indicates there are no long term benefits, and in fact, there are many negative impacts on the small communities unfortunate enough to have such a facility built nearby. Here I refer to a very well-written, factual post I came across, which contains a leak to the research mentioned above.

Excerpt:

Realistically, it takes analysis based on empirical evidence to really get some people off the fence on issues like this.  Lots of studies have been done on the effects of prisons in large urban communities.  Data on the effects in small rural towns has just recently been available as most prisons in rural areas were built since 1985 with the promise of great returns for the rural host community.

http://www.wsunews.wsu.edu/pages/publications.asp?Action=Detail&PublicationID=9420

Recent studies have shown that prisons typically do not help small communities.  These studies by scholars and researchers such as Ryan S. King, Marc Mauer, Tracy Huling, Terry Besser, Dexter Whitfield and many more, have repeatedly come to the same conclusions:

- Few prison staff reside locally, they do not reside in the prison town or county thus reducing any positive impact on the local economy.  Local Residents are often ineligible for employment due to union requirements or lack of necessary skills.

- The effect of prisons on rural communities in National studies and research projects reveal that the effect on local economies was significantly less than that claimed, and in most cases had negative impacts.

- The location of prisons in rural areas has also led to environmental issues caused by pressure on water and wastewater infrastructure, thus resulting in no tax relief for the local residents and a myriad of other issues for our children to deal with.

- Stigmatism, reduced attractiveness to future business and the failure of prisons to generate linkages into the local economy further minimizes the possibility for positive impacts .

- In addition, small, rural “prison towns” experience less growth than non-prison towns and have a greater increase in unemployment, poverty, and percent minorities.  This also results in a general decrease in property values in the area as there is not the expected increase in housing demand experienced by major urban centres that house prisons.

Terry Besser, a professor of sociology at Iowa State University, has studied the economic impact of prisons on rural towns.

“Unfortunately my research showed that there not benefits,” she said, “and there were negative consequences.”

As quoted from Dexter Whitfield (Economic Impact of Prisons in Rural Areas – A Review of the Issues):

“It was widely believed that prisons had positive effects on local economies with no negative effects on property values, public safety or the quality of life. One study concluded that there was a gap between the perception of the economic benefits and reality … Washington State University undertook a national analysis to examine the impact of new prisons on the pace of growth.  For nonmetropolitan counties—the counties in which the majority of prisons have been built and counties that have competed to attract in order to boost local growth – there is no evidence that prisons have provided a boost. Neither established nor newly built prisons made a significant contribution to employment growth in rural counties (Hooks et al, 2004).  Among slow-growing counties, the effect of established prisons failed to attain statistical significance in any panel. Among these slow-growing counties, it appears that new prisons do more harm than good.”

Well there are some scary facts.  Also worthy of noting:

In comparing this prison to facilities in other areas, one must keep in mind key differences.  Drumheller (pop. 7932 with trading area pop. over 40000) is not only 4 times the size of Lumby, but home to the renowned “world’s largest dinosaur museum” which will attract visitors regardless of what goes on in the town. ( Lumby has no such international attraction, although eco-tourism and recreational activities are currently a draw and could be developed further- lack of insight from mayor and council appears to be a big factor in pursuing this aspect as an economic stimulator- LY)

Grand Cache (pop. 4200) is more than double the size of Lumby.  Although it is in a beautiful area of the northern Alberta Rockies (and it is very northern), it does not have the appealing climate that entices families and retirees to live there, nor the vast numbers of year round tourists that flood the North Okanagan, all which leads to local services and products being needed, therefore a prison for their community was a reasonable choice for them.    Also, note, Grande Cache is 146 km from Grande Prarie and 149 km from Hinton.  There is literally nowhere else for prison staff to live and contribute economically unless they choose to commute 2.5 hrs one way to either town.  In this scenario, common sense would follow that a prison proposal would be good in a situation like this, as isolated location dictates and increase in local housing demand and consumption of local goods and services.  Readers should be aware that the population in Grand Cache dropped from 4624 to 3646 between the time the prison was announced and the time it opened and the population has not completely recovered.

Lumby, from my understanding, has been doing well economically (growing at about 3% per year ) and revenue increased 30% between 2006 and 2009.  This is actually quite impressive during a nationwide recessionary period for a town of this size. 

 The real problem is not a lack of revenue, but excessive municipal spending and no accountability.  In the BC Municipal Spending Watch by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Lumby’s Operating Expenditure Growth (Munc. Spending) has increased by 141.5% between 2000 and 2008, in comparison to Enderby at 3.45% and Armstrong at 56.20%. Population and Inflation growth has been about 19.5% in both Lumby and Armstrong, and 14.75% in Enderby.  What this means is that there is huge fiscal sustainability problem in Lumby.  Lumby’s municipal spending has increased approx. 7.5 times faster than the revenue base even though Lumby has experienced growth.   In comparison to other municipalities with populations of 5000 or less in BC Lumby ranks up there in the top 10 with sustainability issues.   There may be extenuating circumstances that warrant higher spending increases or the like in communities with declining populations, but, in general, operating spending increases should be in line with population and inflation and should adequately accommodate growth pressures.

Failure to control operating expenditures, which is the real issue, will mean tax and user fee hikes for small business and other taxpayers for many years to come. This is a wake-up call to taxpayers.

 It’s time for more accountability from our municipal government regardless of whether a prison going in or not!  The key point is that people in favour of the prison believe it will put the town economy back on the right track, but even  if it was a positive economic move for our community, a prison will not correct the underlying municipal expenditure issues.   The budget has to be resolved first.

I could not have said any of that better, myself.

 Advanced polling is taking place today from 8 am to 8 pm, the main referendum takes place April 3oth and may I point out, it is non-binding referendum ? That means that the results are really not much more than an explosive opinion poll, and that mayor and council are not obligated to even follow the direction of the vote. They could even legally choose to ignore them, which speaks volumes about how democracy works in Lumby, on such a contentious issue as this one.

I  even have a sneaking suspicion this facility is going to go ahead regardless of what the results of the  referendum are, simply because of what Mayor Acton told a reporter in an interview a couple of weeks ago:

Lumby’s mayor says his council hasn’t decided what level of support in the upcoming referendum, would be enough to pursue the idea for a prison.

Lumby and Area D residents go to the polls April 30th, and mayor Kevin Acton (pictured) says further action is not as simple as 50 percent plus one.

Kevin ActonActon tells KISS FM “We’re going to need  to consider Area  D,we’re going to have to kinda see what kind of support is coming from area D,  and they’re just as much a part of the community as Lumby proper is, so, we actually haven’t set any solid number is,that says yes or no we’re going to do this ”  

He says it “will come down to the number that we receive that day, and the sense that council gets of support.”

If that doesn’t even make all of this look more like a sham to appease the people, what more do you need? A non-binding referendum with no real thought behind it to give the people even the smallest illusion of good faith on the part of mayor and council.

It is not for me to tell residents of Lumby and Area D what to mark on their ballot box, and some may wonder why I did this post considering I live down here in Surrey and the facility has no bearing on my life. 

 To answer that you would have to read this post, and read a response I received from a reader, who told me:

“You asked: Who will speak for us when the government runs over us? Takes our home and our community? Our business and our schools? The answer seems to require that we speak for each other and ourselves with each other and ourselves – through the Internet…

This is a new age of activism – I love what you do – what I do – what all of us are doing to save the small scraps of democracy that still exist in this tarred and blasted country… thank you. “

Giddyup. Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth. I’m here to make sure the truth gets told.

( I welcome all residents of Lumby  to comment here in the comments section, so long as the comments are civil and on topic  )

This entry was posted in crime, Laila Yuile and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to ” Prison Town, USA ” ? …How about ” Prison Town, Lumby, BC.”

  1. anonymous says:

    Thanks for this information,some of which I never saw before.We live in such a beautiful area and Ijust feel that there is so many other things that we could do here,but Kevin has his head stuck on this prison.I think there is also a connection to the land they made industrial that only one person owns it all and would make a killing if this happened. I just wish we had more people listening, it feels like we are stuck in a rock and a hard place with this bunch, but at least they wont win another election in this town!

  2. Hey – Thank you so much for the press Laila, I have been saying the same sorts of things on my blog for quite a while (only not as well composed) – to the point that people in Lumby are starting to feel sorry for a biased Mayor and Council. I say – forget it – this problem belongs to Lumby’s Mayor and Council who have by the evidence presented in your blog – a predetermined agenda and the sooner we all wake up to the reality that we have been taken for a ride the sooner we can stop the prison division and mend the economic rifts.

    We all belong to the Village of Lummby – it’s our Village – Lumby is “Simply the Best” and once we put an end to this prison idea we can turn our focus to the pressing issues that everone want to particiate in – local econmomic development, cleaning up pollution, a Community Forest, a Salmon Fish Ladder, local food, a packing house and all the other great suggestions put forward at the economic development meeting last Fall.

    Thanks for setting the record straight – it’s a great post.

  3. sorry about the spelling – too much excitement!!

    • Laila says:

      And thank you for stopping by Priscilla, I just pointed out your blog to some facebook friends who are discussing this issue online ( please send a friend request to me to join in if you FB!)

      I am glad you posted here, with your link, and I encourage all interested readers to check out her blog where she has been documenting events from nearly day 1, and digging into the issues surrounding this contentious issue. You are a gem and and example to all citizens to keep their local politicians to account for their actions.

      Priscilla, please let locals know they are welcome to comment here and I encourage everyone to share their views and opinons on this pressing issues!!

  4. Nick Hodge says:

    Wow! Thanks so much for taking the time to piece this sordid story together.

    At the first forum on the topic of the prison a secret ballot survey was taken to measure the amount of support. The results were never released, and only referred to with generalities such as “about 50 % supported the idea.” I’ve interpreted that to mean “somewhat less than 50%” but never known what the actual number was.

    Your research and analysis is appreciated.

  5. Excellent blog Laila!
    Why do we need more prisoners I kept wondering as I read your exhaustive report? I will bet that an analysis of those inside would reveal a great many should not be in prison. Their time there does nothing but harm in far too many cases and it sure as hell doesn’t do much for us.
    I can see violent offenders, murderer’s and such but drug and most theft, robbery crimes and the like would be better handled through more productive approaches.

    Just saying,

    Onward

    Richard

  6. anonymous says:

    Hello, Laila. Thank you for your work on this issue. I’m was amazed by some of the things you’ve written. You see, we have no local press that covers municipal issues. I find it interesting that Mayor Acton now says he will pay attention to the Area D (rural Lumby) vote. Until recently, he stated that the Area D vote would not be considered because those people do not pay taxes directly to Lumby. I wonder why he has changed his mind. A good question for a reporter to ask. Another thing that the great majority of Lumbyites don’t know is that our municipal operating expenditures have increased 141% between 2000 and 2008. Those years were under the Mayorship of Eric Foster, who is now our MLA. Also onboard was the former village administrator, Frank Kosa. A few years ago, the village was facing an audit. From what I’ve heard, our village’s books were in such disarray that a financial advisor was hired, on a contract basis, to bring the books into line. That advisor, Ken Klassen has now been hired on a permanent basis. Mr. Kosa, meanwhile gave two weeks notice in January that he would resign his duties, effective, Feburary 7. He departed immediately for Saskatchewan.

  7. I just realized by reading your post that there may be a plan to put the prison in Lumby rural Area D
    The referendum opinion question is:
    Do you support pursuing the development of a Provincial Correctional Centre within the Village of Lumby?
    IF:
    Lumby Village says “NO” and Area D doesn’t bother to get out and vote “NO” because Mayor Acton has persisted in saying the rural vote does not matter so Area D is saying “why bother vote?” Area D will have voted “YES”

    DID YOU KNOW:
    Mayor Acton’s got control of some Area D land (formerly removed from the ALR) that is specifically set aside for industrial use by the Village of Lumby?
    I’ll check out Area D – OCP – and send yu the information….

    Acton has already stated on the radio that he has support of Area D (after he was told that Area D wanted to have a voice on the matter)

    FROM your LINK above:
    http://www.1075kiss.com/local-first/kiss-news/3541-prison-

    Kevin Acton says: “We’re going to need to consider Area D, we’re going to have to kinda see what kind of support is coming from area D, and they’re just as much a part of the community as Lumby proper is…

    Up until now – Mayor Acton has denied that Area D was part of Lumby – so why does Area D matter to Mayor Acton?

    If the No vote gives up and doesn’t vote – Area D will be acclaimed “YES” and Mayor Acton’s got a prison for Area D and he’s got the land to put it on – it’s not in the Village – so the Village can’t complain – it’s in Area D when Area D votes YES.

    That seems to be the reason why he continues to missrepresent Area D’s opposition saying our vote won’t count – so we wouldn’t bother voting – Acton’s a magician.

    • Laila says:

      You folks have a lot on your hands with this mayor and council. And your local MLA I would say.

      Anon, I think Eric played a much bigger role in this than anyone has really explored. I would freedom of information the hell out of that village office and find out as much as you can that is not already public. From the videos I watched of the highly unprofessional demeanors of council members before the council meeting, I bet there is a lot more one could find with some crafty searching.

      Priscilla, I am curious as to who owns that land that was changed from ALR to industrial, which raises the commercial value of the land substantially. And what that persons connection is to City hall, if any. Follow the money.

      And yes, why did those expenditures increase so much? I don’t really see anything to account for it myself. You guys have been amazing in keeping an eye on these people!

      What worries me most is that this NON-BINDING referendum appears to be nothing but a smokescreen to deflect criticism from anyone saying this is being rammed through. I have submitted a freedom of information request to the city administrator, who is fast approaching his deadline to respond. It should be interesting to see what comes from it.

  8. The following comes from: Electoral Areas “D” and “E”
    BACKGROUND REPORT – To the accompany Schedule “A”

    http://www.rdno.ca/publications/bylaws/1690_background.pdf

    pages 21- 22
    6. Industrial Land Use
    Currently there are pockets of land set aside for Industrial uses within, and in close
    proximity to the Village of Lumby. These areas include the forestry based industrial lands
    on the south side of the Village, the Village Industrial Park (East end of the Village) and
    the Dure Meadow Road/Highway 6 area.
    There are constraints to development on some of these lands due to the lower level of
    servicing (insufficient fire flows, no sewers) and high water table. The Land Reserve
    Commission has indicated they are considering including lands east of the Village
    Industrial Park back into the ALR. These lands, which lie outside Village Boundaries,
    were excluded from the ALR by provincial cabinet so they could be annexed into the
    Village and developed for industrial purposes. The level of development within the
    Industrial Park has been less than expected, and vacant land is available there. No formal analysis has been done on the industrial park to see if the lack of demand for industrial lands warrants the preclusion of future expansion. However, the Village Council has expressed desires for the area to be left out of the ALR for future possibilities.

    The Land Reserve Commission has also indicated there may be additional pockets of land that may be suitable for industrial development. These include lands east of Trinity
    Valley Road (existing gravel pits), and the lands encompassing the existing gravel
    operations adjacent to the District of Coldstream Boundary (south of railway).

    Since the Village Council CAN express “desires for the area to be left out of the ALR for future possibilities” logic says they have some control or say about the use of this land.

    I have no idea how to navigate the maps or figure out where these lands are – but we need to make clear to everyone in Area D that we are watching to be sure that the non binding referendum will not be used for a stratigic imposition of a prison in Lumby.

  9. Re: the location for a prison
    Check out the first meeting of Lumby Council when Mayor Acton took his oath of office: Aug 31 2009 – 09/190 and 09/191 and 09/192 amending the Community Plan to re-zone country residential land to General Industrial… why was this the first thing to be done after the July 2009 meeting when 3 Councillors made a resolution to explore the possibility of a prison?

    Since lumby has lost industrial operations – why make industrial land?

    Since Lumby has empty industrial land – why make more industrial land – land that was zoned for housing – when housing was actually being developed in Lumby?

    The other communities in the Prison debate have stated their locations but Lumby is tight lipped. You can’t believe the NORD map of proposed prison sites is to share and inform the residents of Lumby – otherwise it would not have been made up the day before the SG representatives came to town. These secret plans by Mayor Acton and Lumby Council are not transparent.

  10. Lou Romailler says:

    Someone left a page under the windshield of my car. It was concerning the 25 highest crime cities in Canada.

    http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/03/04/the-most-dangerous-cities-in-canada-overall-crime-score%E2%80%94by-rank/

    Afterdoing some research as to the prison locations. I checked out the facts on the paper, They proved to be true. 84% of the cities with the highest crime rate have Provincial or Federal prisons. Or are located in very close proximity to the prison towns. Many sharing a common border.
    Asking a number of law enforcement officials & others involved in the system as to the reasons why? I was told: First thing one has to understand is that just because a person commits an inditeable offence, or is a criminal does not exclude that person from having a loving spouse and children. So when a person is convicted and sent to a Correctional Center for an extended period of perhaps 18 to 24 months. The family many times, living in rented accomodations does not have the resources to travel and visit on a regular basis if the distance is very far. So in order to allow for more frequent visits during the incarsuration. The Spouse moves to another rental as close as possibe the prison. Preferably in the same town . By the time the sentence has been served children will have already been established in school. The inmate is released with a bus ticket offered to them. There is NO mandatory obligation to accept it. In turn a home has already been established so they simply walk out the gates and go home to their family already located here.
    Statistics show first time offenders are given probation or fines. Most inmates are repeat offenders and that many repeat offenders continue to be repeat offenders. Only this time in their new surounding area.
    There are other things which come into play. When in jail friends are made so when down the line some of those friends are released they do not want leave town immediatly as they wish first to stop by and see and party with the buddy they made while in jail. ”
    The longer the prison is in the town the more the town becomes impregniated. ” Birds of a feather flock together” Other friends will also come to visit. Children are raised believing that it’s ok that the parent has from time to time been in prison. They are raised anti establishment. Understandably in self defense some preach that doctrine to fellow school mates and other friends and some of it sticks ,further perpetuating the problem.
    Then after a few years go by you’ll find the city that once was the quiet desireable place where you wanted to move to has become something totaly different.
    It is now listed as one of those cities with the highest crime ratings in Canada.
    Is this the best we can find to offer our children and grand children ?

  11. anon says:

    This is an election year so perhaps we can stop that cycle mentioned by Lou.

    Maybe by helping the poor, by increasing minimum wage, providing good education and job opportunities and by funding family support we can help people choose community over crime.

    “Tough on Crime” laws don’t seem to lower the crime rate. Do we actually believe that bigger jails and money for prison guards will create healthy communities?

    Instead of jails and jets, I’m voting for a party that works for improved social programs and community development. This time, I believe change can happen here in Canada.

  12. workforfun says:

    It is a shame, but for the most part – certainly with BC Liberals and the Canservatives, they are only interested in political dogma and ideology. The talk the talk and do a funny walk and ya know full well, whatever they said/promised, ain’t ever gonna happen.

    It is begiinning to look like there is a huge number of politicians that seem focused on their ego’s rather than on the problems at hand.

    The people need to become m ore involved and motivated come election time. Far too many have become cynical and believe their vote do a thing. Too much government spend without proper consideration of the consequences. It is the politicians that are causing these excesses – not the people they are supposed to represent and work for.

    Maybe a few of these politicians should be put in prison instead of getting a slap on the wrist – pboth provincially and federally. I am sure if that happened, things would be done a little differently.

    Corruption is everywhere from BC (the worst) right through to Ottawa.

    Thanks

  13. Mike Mailloux says:

    Acton is a joke. Until he is out of office in November it will be a constant struggle to minimize his negative impact. Lumby has all the potential in the world and his ” vision ” is a prison or a garbage dump. Despite all the furor, Acton would look you in the eye and tell you he’s done nothing wrong. Please get him on t.v. with a ruthless investigative journalist. He could easily be made into a notorious province wide buffoon.

  14. Hello again Laila, in your post you comment on the Lumby Village news release saying:

    “the release is carefully worded to give the impression the entire idea was in the very first stages of conception.” and you say “What the 2010 press release failed to mention”… is that Mayor Acton had already asked Kash Heed (2009, Solicitor General) to put a prison in Lumby..

    Well, it turns out that Mayor Foster had already done too.

    Read this letter from MLA Eric Foster on the prison background: http://lumbyvalleytimes.ca/issues/page2.html – get it on google docs if you want it for future blogs because there’s no archive for the Lumby paper.

    Mr.Foster says “some local residents suggested we look into the prospect of hosting a correctional facility”. He admits initiating a study that he planned to submit for public consultation. Apparently Mayor Acton was the messenger for that study with his 2010 new release.

    I suppose it’s harmless enough to blame some unidentified local Lumby residents for the idea of a prison – however, those residents have now cost the taxpayers of Lumby and the Province thousands of tax dollars and created deep rifts in this and other communities. Our legal system has a process for “Consultation” and that “Consultation” process has not happened.

    I believe Mr.Foster has a duty to identify those residents to prove his blameless position. I think the people of Lumby deserve to know if anyone stood to make a personal financial gain by putting a prison in Lumby.

    In 2008 Mayor Eric Foster and Kevin Acton Councilor were already investigating a hot bed topic – a “Prison” – behind the scenes, on behalf of a few people. Then on July 13th 2009 with Foster gone and barely a quorum – three remaining councilors went in-camera and passed a motion to approach the Solicitor General. How likely is it that Eric Foster had not already spoken to the Solicitor General in his 2008 study on a prison? Can anyone study the matter of a prison without consulting a Solicitor General?

    Clearly, the Village Councilors had discussed the prison long before July 2009 and that included Councilor Kevin Acton. In my mind, the July 13th 2009 resolution was a bogus resolution to protect Kevin Acton for not disclosing this secret agenda.

    Mayor Acton ran for Mayor and in his letter to Paul Fisher, he denied any obligation to divulge the prison proposal on his election platform because it was all in secret meetings in camera when he wasn’t even there – right!

    How could a three member Council act in secret without previous discussions that involved Eric Foster on behalf of a few unidentified people? Obviously, Kevin Acton was aware of the prison.

    The people of British Columbia and Lumby ought to know if those few unidentified people stand to gain any personal financial benefit from this prison at the expense of other taxpayers? Do they hold real estate for sale? Do they expect a construction contract? Does Janet Green stand to make any personal financial gain?

    Janet Green was in the Gallery at the notorious July 13th 2009 Council Meeting when those three elected members went in-camera to vote for a prison in Lumby. Did they invite her in-camera and ask her opinion? Was she one of those original people who approached Eric Foster in 2008? Was Kevin Acton at the July 13th 2009 meeting too?

    There is no mention of the reason for going in-camera in the regular minutes and why is a prison a secret anyway? Eric Foster said he planned to submit the idea for public consultation – what better way than putting it on the election ballot?

    Kevin Acton stated on the radio that he would have liked it on the ballot. Someone took minutes for the July 13th 2009 in-camera meeting! How do we get them?

    What looks really bad is that Kevin Acton signed those July 13th 2009 minutes as “Mayor Acton” and he wasn’t even the elected Mayor on July 13th 2009. By the way so did Frank Kosa sign them as “Village Administrator”. I noticed that he didn’t sign the minutes as ” Chief Election Officer” which was Frank’s appointed position on July 13th 2009. By the way, Frank quit and left the province in 2011 after hundreds of people rejected the idea of a prison and asked if the Village knew about this before the last election.

    Knowledge of conversations on the prison were denied by Kevin Acton in his letter to Paul Fisher – clearly there is a lot more to this than we are being told.

  15. doug romuld says:

    stand up be herd. tell them to shuv there prison like we did…build one in your front yard..doug

  16. RossK says:

    Sorry to barge in off-topic but…..

    Stopping All Cons….My Comprehensive Guide To Strategic Surge Voting In British Columbia is now rolling out….here, for anybody who is interested.

    (again, apologies to Laila and all her readers, but in this endeavour I feel know shame in blog whoring)

    .

  17. Alan H. Goettemoeller says:

    Hi Laila,

    I want to thank you for the excellent job of constructing this article. Yes a lot of people are still on pins and needles in and around Lumby. Many are waiting on the outcome of tonights village council meeting. (Vote?)
    I also wanted to tell you that when you posted the video that Mayor Kevin Acton sent about the meeting with B.C Corrections at the Lumby High School the other week, that it had been edited, He left out a few important moments, One with Mr. Paul Fisher, and one with Mr. Hatterscheit. I was at the meeting, and a few moments were a bit controversal.
    Thank you for your truth.

    Alan

  18. Pingback: some telling prison tales – Mayor Kevin Acton & Eric Foster MLA » theXpress

  19. jordonpryor says:

    are you fucking dumb the prison would have worked you fucktard also none of your links work dumbass just kill yourself

  20. hobo says:

    troll lo lo lo lo p.s. this is a fake name ya humpty dumpty dumbass

  21. hobo says:

    lol my name isnt jordyn pryor either lol ;)

  22. just sayin says:

    but I bet your IP address can be traced by the RCMP, now who’s the dumb ass…

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