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Apr 07 2011

suppressing public opinion

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On April 30, 2011 an opinion poll/ referendum will be held for Lumby and area D residents to determine if a correctional facility should be built in the Village of Lumby.  Unfortunately, a large number of permanent residents will be left out of this very important decision.

Permanent residents live in your neighbourhood and mine.

According to Lumby Council and Area D Director the goal of the opinion poll is to find out if the residents of the community would support a correctional facility in Lumby and as it is a non binding poll there would have been a choice to include all residents.

Canadian Citizens with property in both the Village of Lumby and Area D can actually vote twice – once in the Village and once in Area D.  Property owners who don’t even live in Lumby or Area D can vote where they own property.

Those who organized the opinion poll/referendum on the issue of a prison here have decided it’s a matter for some residents and some non-residents and not a decision for all residents in Lumby and Area D.

Many of the permanent residents living within the community of Lumby and area have been here for many years; some have been here for twenty or more years. They own property, run local businesses and raise families here – they contribute to the local tax base.  Just like everyone else – they pay property taxes, including commercial taxes, andlike everone else they shop in our local stores.

Permanent residents are just as much a part of this community as any citizen coming here from anywhere else in Canada.   There is no doubt that the decision to bring a correctional facility to Lumby would affect their lives tremendously – and certainly not less than it will affect someone who doesn’t even live here.

What permanent resident has not made sacrifices to be able to come to Canada? Have they not passed stringent requirements to be allowed to live in this beautiful place?  They chose Lumby and the rural area for its beauty, intact nature, economic diversity and because it’s a safe place to live.

Permanent residents live in your neighbourhood and my neighbourhood – they are your good friends and mine too.

Many permanent residents feel that their lives are jeopardized with a proposed correctional facility and that the effects of the facility would compromise their businesses (many of which are in tourism). Where was the plan to have a prison development at the cost of existing economic enterprise?

I am asking why can’t permanent resident have a vote? Is it because many permanent resident want to oppose a prison here?  If you won’t allow permanent residents to vote for their future – you have once more suppressed opposition – exposing your biased position!

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