Letter: Why is B.C. Gov’t leasing jail land?

Recent news releases regarding the Okanagan Correctional Center (OCC) leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

To the editor:

Recent news releases regarding the Okanagan Correctional Center (OCC) leaves a lot of questions unanswered, such as: Is the $5,000 awarded the members of the Osoyoos Indian Band an annual retainer, or a one-time signing bonus?

As a long time resident, voter and taxpayer of B.C. I am very concerned that the provincial Liberal government has ventured into yet another land-use agreement without discussing the details with the citizens of the province.

The B.C. Liberal government arbitrarily proceeded with the construction of the Kelowna Westside Interchange before securing ownership of the land, and this issue has still not been settled.

Why is the B.C. government moving ahead with yet another partnership with First Nations at a time when B.C. aboriginal groups have claims for lands that exceed the province’s total land mass?

Why is the government in such a hurry to set yet another irreversible precedent?

Why are we building permanent structures on leased land, and who will own this structure?

Why does the government not want the security of ownership and access to the land the structure is build on?

Why is a 40-year lease (with a 20-year option) for what could and should be considered a ‘permanent’ concrete structure that conceivably could provide services far beyond those years?

Should the physical structures have to be removed from this land, who would be responsible for the costs, and where would you take it?

What are the financial details of the lease, such as the monthly/annual costs of the lease, compensation and/or penalties for unscheduled interruptions, not to mention exit costs at the end of the lease?

As citizens we own this province. It is our right to be informed of all those details.

 

Andy Thomsen, Summerland

 

 

Kelowna Capital News