Kemptville prison complex opponents conducting second public forum online Feb. 2

The proposed prison site, across the road from the main Kemptville Campus site. Van Dusen photo, Nation Valley News

KEMPTVILLE — Opponents of a proposed prison in Kemptville will hold the second in a series of public forums with five featured speakers addressing the topic tomorrow, Feb. 2.

The Coalition Against the Proposed Prison (CAPP), a group of residents opposed to the planned construction of the announced Eastern Ontario Correctional Complex in Kemptville, has scheduled the Zoom session 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2.

The group is upset at the Ford government’s planned 235-bed correctional facility on approximately 180 acres of farmland previously part of the Kemptville Agricultural College. CAPP spokesperson Colleen Lynas describes the proposal — announced in August 2020 — as an “ill conceived” and one that will “simply perpetuate the government’s failure to address meaningful changes within the  correctional and judicial systems”

“With the pandemic still raging and the provincial debt ballooning, now is the critical juncture  for the government to make better choices about how to spend scarce public funds to support  the people of Ontario; it is not too late to reverse this decision,” she adds.

The Kemptville prison project aims to address a shortage of capacity in Eastern Ontario’s corrections system, especially the beleaguered Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre.

North Grenville Mayor Nancy Peckford has said that ongoing plans to revitalize the campus can work around the correctional development.

Speakers at CAPP’s Zoom session include:

• Laura Beach, PhD (c) Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, former  Kemptville resident

• Vanessa, Poet, person with lived experience

• Cathy Robinson, Executive Director, Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa

• Lydia Dobson, Associate Member of the Board of Directors, Elizabeth Fry Society of  Ottawa

• Nicole Myers, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Queen’s University

• Janjala Chirakijja, PhD, Lecturer, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics,  Monash University

Register for the event by emailing CAPP at coalitionagainstproposedprison@gmail.com. See the group’s website at www.coalitionagainstproposedprison.ca

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