Recently, this paper has put focus on a meeting of those people that met to discuss economic development for this region. Specifically, the article referred to the possible invitation to the federal government to locate a prison in this area.
Firstly, let me say, I was most pleased to learn that at least one of our councillors, namely Mr. McCormick, was at the table to get a feel for the potential opportunities and/or threats that may arise from situating a prison nearby. I was also pleased to learn that Mr. McCormick, as was pointed out by Mayor McRae, was from Prince Albert, Sask. and would likely have a feel for the possibilities this enterprise could produce for the local populace.
However, my purpose for writing this letter was to express my complete disappointment in Mr. McRae for dismissing this opportunity out of hand without giving the issue the consideration that it deserves. It is clear that the City of Kimberley has some credible problems and there seem to be very few solutions being suggested by the mayor and council in general.
I take deep offense to your position, Mr. Mayor, as it seems you wish to clearly disassociate yourself from the only person that is actively seeking solutions to Kimberley’s ongoing economic shortfall. You seem to be shutting the door to future jobs with high earning potential. As many as 600 jobs in terms of a prison enterprise could be possible. These would include construction jobs, clerks, health care, guards, food services, transportation to the site for visitors, a hotel for visitors with all the jobs that that entails and many others that I have failed to recognize.
Balanced against the “Sun Mine” enterprise, which would require one employee to clean the solar panels annually, I seriously believe that council should open its eyes and get real about our serious economic dilemma. It has become abundantly clear that tourism alone cannot support this city. If we are to thrive, something must change and the sooner the better.
If wishes were horses, beggars would fly. It is time to stop wishing and cut to the chase. You were not elected to tread lightly. Get busy and make a difference instead of worrying about your position on the city council. Sit on your hands much longer and you won’t have to worry about the results of the next election.