While the damage may have been done to any potential Liberal votes in Burnaby, I think the BC Liberals did a very smart thing by placing the decision of where to build the prison into the hands of Metro Vancouver mayors.
Smart, I say, because it places the heat in the hands of those it affects the most. The municipalities and their residents. I imagine a lot of squabbling going on in the resulting meetings, since the NIMBY mentality seems to rise faster when talking about convicts and criminal than anything else. Real or imagined, residents have a right to voice their fears and anger at having a remand centre plunked down in the middle of any city.
How would you feel if you found out it was planned for YOUR neighbourhood?
If you need help gauging what your reaction would be to news like this, why not head over to this report of possible sites targeted by the BC government as suitable locations for a prison?
Many are close to, or in the area of residential housing. Many are on dedicated farm land that currently is in the ALR.
Some sites might be close to you. Does it bother you, or do you even care?
Communities with possible sites are Delta, Surrey, Richmond, Vancouver,Abbotsford, Mission, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Langley, Maple Ridge and Chilliwack. There are several sites located in Surrey- one down in a very nice farm area.
It is clear that we need more prison centres if we are to make a dent in the criminal element plaguing everyone in the lower mainland. If you are angered by the early release of a hardened criminal, or the routing out of offenders into other avenues that really don’t work, you have to look at the inadequate facilities we currently possess as one reason this continues to happen. There simply isn’t enough room to put them all into jail, as nice as that would be.
But does a prison have a place within residential neighbourhoods? Perhaps. But consider this. With all the wild and vast wilderness areas we possess in BC, why not plunk the damn thing down into the dark and often vicious bush? Not apt to break out if a grizzly and remote wilderness is what you are facing. And while you are at it, install a work camp atmosphere rather than tattoo parlours, porn and TV. Make them all perform an honest days hard work like the rest of us.
Perhaps when prisons in BC actually begin to feel more like punishment rather than being grounded, things might start to change – and criminals might think twice before pulling the trigger.