As an employee of the Kenora Jail and a former resident of, and current municipal taxpayer in Fort Frances, I have become interested in the proposed Youth Detention Centre being built here in Fort Frances. If you look hard enough, depending upon the attitude one takes with this news, you will find as many positives as negatives regarding this proposal.
I will not pretend to know how the government will handle every facet of the project.There will be a realignment of positions in the Kenora Youth Justice Unit.I am personally confident that it will not induce a loss of thirty full time positions in Kenora, as the Union is playing an active roll in this transition. There may be retirements ,re-assignments opportunities in other areas of the Ministry.
The fact is there is plans in the works for an alternative use of the space vacated. Knowing this, one may look at this as a very positive change that may create more employment in Kenora, once the dust settles. I feel the best approach is to ask pertinent questions and not assume the worst case scenerio without emperical evidence backing up these feelings.
I would also like to comment on some of the concerns regarding how rumors can create the belief that there is going to be a throng of criminals running around in our neighbourhood, free to do whatever they want.As an employee of The Ministry,I believe in the current static security the Ministry uses to keep the public safe. I believe that the Security training the Ministry offers is second to none. The chances of anything happening(ie) escapes,assaults etc. are next to nil. Of course you are never going to hear the positives that come from incarceration, but will certainly hear of any and all negative press surrounding this sensitive subject.
I myself still have questions regarding this this facility, but will not paint it with a dire brush and will look at this as a positive for Fort Frances, until I have emperical knowledge to the contrary.(i.e.)Lower real estate values being the big concern for many. Therefore, when I have questions , I am going to ask the people that should have the answers.
Thirty jobs, increased spending in the community, spin off jobs, and an expanded tax base should be looked upon as a positive. The limited view of the ultra concervatives will only add to the problem this fine community has been experiencing for the last 20 years.(people leaving). I have, and always will have a special spot for my home town of Fort Frances and truly feel that this is just one of many opportunities set before our comminty that we should take advantage of.
One would have thought that a substantial majority of the citizens of Fort Frances would be in favour of this proposal.In addition to the staffing of this institution,with decent paying jobs, supplies and services will be required,mostly supplied by Fort Frances Businesses.Lets hope that the "Not in my neighborhood syndrome" does not prevail here.It's not like this is a slaughterhouse or nuclear plant were talking about here for goodness sakes.This will be a plus for Fort Frances.I hope and trust that our Mayor and Council will be very pro-active on this proposal,to ensure that the Government is made aware that Fort Frances is very Interested.