Breaking news…Lumby speaks and the government listens- No prison for Lumby, Osoyoos Indian Band to host correctional facility.

Wonderful news out of Lumby tonight from my friend Priscilla, who confirms that Lumby will not be home to a new 360 cell facility. The province will be making an announcement with the Osoyoos Indian Band tomorrow morning in Oliver, and it is expected that they will announce the decision to move forward with situating the facility on industrial land owned by the band just north of the city of Oliver.

More to come tomorrow, but for tonight, take a look at what happens when ordinary people are inspired to great lengths, and how a small community fought hard to stop a select few from ramming through a prison concept that could have changed their lives irrevocably.


17 thoughts on “Breaking news…Lumby speaks and the government listens- No prison for Lumby, Osoyoos Indian Band to host correctional facility.

  1. I lived in Oliver until a few months ago and I must say, I’m not surprised. When I saw that land being developed last summer, I knew something was afoot. Our condo is still for sale down there, and I suppose it will be for quite some time now. Leasing it out wasn’t a priority, but I guess it is now.

    Definitely not doing a ‘happy dance’!


  2. Yes, it seems the Government listened and I can’t quite believe it yet. Thank you for your interest and great journalism. Thanks to all the people who stood with us including our Director Rick Fairbairn. We hope everyone will come to Lumby, take in the Wild Salmon Festival, hike the Monashee Mountains and see the little town that could. And if you are looking for a home in a special community bring your dreams be part of our design.

    Sure there are rifts to heal and bridges to cross but we have big plans. When was the last time you vacationed in a community that didn’t have a McDonalds or Starbucks? We have what other communities covet, 16 Mom and Pop restaurants – all of them serve great food.

    We are expecting MLA Eric Foster to make some sort of an announcement after our Premier speaks in Oliver tomorrow… Tomorrow… Yes, well… tomorrow evening it’s Council Watch one year to the day of our anti prison protest outside Council Chambers. I think there will be quite a few people in the Council Gallery tomorrow. And we will keep you posted on the goings on in and around Lumby.


  3. Im so sorry for you Gini in Oliver.This was our worst nightmare in Lumby village. Well most of us anyway . We would have been adding our house to the for sale list today . So you say this was being developed last summer Wow So They were just going through the motions this govt ? they already know where it would be built What a waste of time and effort on our part going to rallies and writing hundreds of letters ummmm I shake my head .


  4. I’m also sorry for you Gini in Oliver. These prisons should not be built anywhere! An overhaul of our injustice system should be done. It’s a corrupt system.


  5. We do need more prisons. The ones we have are overcrowded. When our population grows, the population in each subgroup will grow too, including prisoners as well as the sick, poor, disabled, average, greedy, short sighted, long sighted, etc.

    Lumby must have studied the examples where prisons have been built in small towns and the towns found out they were at best neutral to the towns overall atmosphere, usually a detriment to small towns. What guard is going to want the prisoners to know where he lives and where his family goes to school and shops?

    In a perfect world we would not have prisons, or greedy, or self centered, or ….. people.


  6. This government is a total nightmare in every thing it does. I live in Clearwater and we had a prison here, no problems at all. They rebuilt it, brand new then shut it down, sold it for next to nothing and it sits empty right now. They won’t even consider it.


  7. I listened to Chief Louis on CBC today and he spoke a little bit about the over incarceration of First Nation persons. He seemed to be saying that as things unfold it will be dealt with in due time. I hope he is able to address that. Whatever happens I will always believe that restorative justice is the place to deal with community crime.

    As for Wayne’s comment about Clearwater – what a waste of money and resources. There should be no need to double bunk prisoners here in BC (which is not in keeping with Canada’s agreement to the UN Declaration of Human Rights). If they used that empty jail, the Government could do something about the intolerable conditions for prisoners.

    As for the problems mentioned in Steve’s comment it’s odd that we need more prisons when crime is dropping. The expanded prison system seems to come from increased penalties for minor offenses. The Conservative Government ignores the mentally ill, the poor and addicted who end up in jail.

    Bill C 10 with it’s stiff penalties for sharing a joint or drunk driving is not good for families or community. We have a Corrections system not a Punishment system. We need treatment Centres, healthy good paying jobs and training so people can fill those jobs. What’s needed is a change in attitude. We need to find a way to unite for a better way of doing things for people here and throughout the world. Canada seems to be aiming for a standard equal to the lowest common denominator – China? Cuba? I really hope we don’t let that happen.


  8. Chief Louie, has done a wonderful job for his people. This means more work for the F.N. He seems very pleased to accept the prison. Good for him.

    So, it was a win, win situation for everyone.

    It seems since Harper won his majority, Canada has gone downhill. No jobs for six months now, for Canada. Caterpillar is moving back to the U.S. So 500 jobs lost there. In BC, an American company won the contract for the tear down of the smelter in Kitimat, they brought their own workers with them. China is sending their people to school, to learn English, they will work the coal mines in BC. So, if any of the seven mines going into, Northern BC are owned by the U.S. or China, they will bring their own miners. A lot of BC’s mill industry was sent to China, along with our raw logs. Even some of of BC’s mills were shipped over to China. The money will be great for the government., and the giant corporations. However, the BC people gain nothing, not even the jobs, even those are given away.

    Politicians are no longer about, what is good for the country, the provinces nor the people. it’s all about how much they can rip off the citizens, for their own selfish goals. No one knows how much Campbell got away with, from his theft and sale of the BCR and his theft and sale of our rivers. We only know, the BC people gained nothing by these thefts of our assets. Where did the money go, from the priceless real estate, that went with the BCR?


  9. I was horrified to read Wayne’s letter. I had to go and see for myself sure enough its on the net. I never heard a thing about it ? The the reason why they have no jails was right there ..In the case of Clearwater its beyond belief ? They should be exposed for there waist why isn’t it on the news ?
    What can we do about this kind of thing ?
    I bit from the Clearwater news paper ….

    “In 2002 the government closed nine jails in the province, including Bear Creek. About 550 staff were laid off,” the union representative recalled.
    Now the remaining facilities are overcrowded …


    1. Good questions and thoughtful comments from all sides. I agree – why not simply re-open existing closed facilities rather than building new ones?

      Hmmm… I’m guessing it has something to do with a lucrative contract at the end of likely another interesting bid process. Priscilla, didnt Brookfield come up in one of our conversations along the line?


  10. Cheif Louie is a great man and cheif. He sould be put in charge of all native populations. If he could do to other tribes as he has done with his own? The native population problems would be solved. Look it up. He has done marvels with no nonsense making his people a proud race again.


  11. Just more examples of the failure of the BC Lieberals to do their jobs. In 2001 they closed 9 jails, 25 courthouses, who knows how many social services offices, but definitely the one in Clearwater, and 134 schools. We’re paying now, aren’t we?
    P.S. The last time my boy went to visit his friends in Clearwater, he said they went up to Bear Creek and through the fence into the site. He said it was weird. Like people left in the middle of a meal. Ghost town. Really creepy. Another complete waste of our tax dollars!


  12. Hi Laila,
    Yes – we did speak about Brookfield. There is information all over the Internet about Brookfield.

    Having belonged to the Lumby community (whether I lived in town or not) since I was 5 years old – Lumby was in my mind “Gateway to the Monashee”. So, I was struck by Lumby’s more recent promotion of the slogan ‘Simply the Best’ since I always thought that slogan belonged to the Save on Foods Group who used it on their TV ads. (You can see how long it’s been since I had a TV…) Anyway I wasn’t wrong – it is a Jim Pattison Slogan – (link below).

    When I was researching Brookfield I saw an Occupy Brookfield Video on the province and Jim Pattison is a prominent board member. There is nothing in my research to connect Lumby with Brookfield other than Brookfield’s Prison management, Jim Patterson and the Lumby slogan.

    Not much to that – however, Brookfield is not what I would call an upstanding corporation. Check out the links below: (The best website for links and informtion on Brookfield’s activity here in BC and elsewhere) (How Does it feel to be Co-opted? Brookfield and BC Pensions) (Stop the prison and build community. Lumby and Summerland work for a common goal. (A google search – Lumby BC motto “gateway to the Monashee”) (Read the Jim Patteson food history in BC with “a goal of running Simply the Best stores”) (Lumby Councilor involved in the original motion to explore a prison in Lumby said “I am committed to keeping Lumby ‘Simply the Best.’”) (This appears to be the earliest internet mention of Lumby slogan ‘Simply the Best’ – TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2003 Hansard) T.Christensen: the village’s slogan: “Simply the best.”) (a jail – it’s Lumby and my blog on the new sign with a new motto: “Simply the Best”) (This is a search of Summerland’s Blog with posts on Brookfield or tagged Brookfield) (Brookfield and Liberty Square (plaza) home of the Occupy Movement – apparently Brookfield haven’t paid their taxes on Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park) in three years.) (Link to the Province Video on Brookfield and the revelation that Jimmy Pattison is a Brookfield Board member) (Occupy Pensions – Brookfield Toronto)

    Lots of reading there – add any links you might have. One thing is for sure – BC and P3 agreements do not benefit the living breathing people of BC.


  13. Hi again – In case it wasn’t clear in my last post – I had this oppressive suspicious sort of Ah Ha moment when Brookfield – Lumby’s Prison bid and Jim Patteson – seemed to be connected. Was it? Is it? I don’t know and I really don’t care anymore.

    Lumby is my home, my life is here, my sister and brother are here – I live in our family forest that my parent’s bought when I was 5 years old. Without a prison Lumby is simply the best. I need to take some time off and have a darn good cry!


  14. This could prove interesting to say the least. Who has jurisdiction over the inmates? The Federal government, Provincial government, or the Indian Band? Whose rules? Haven’t read the agreement, nor seen it yet, so don’t know what the answer is. Has anyone heard?


  15. It’s not a win, win situation for everybody. It’s a win, win situation for Clark and Louie. All those ‘job, jobs, jobs’ are mostly temporary, during construction. The town of Oliver will not benefit because First Nations do not contribute to its tax base. There will be no growth in the community because most people do not want to live in close proximity to a prison.


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