Now is the time to keep fighting

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The NDP's decision to table $18 million from the budget and put the building of a new provincial jail in Springhill has not been without its detractors.
Springhill's mayor and council and Cumberland South MLA Murray Scott have kept the issue in the press and public eye after Justice Minister Ross Landry started waffling on whether the better solution would be a super jail to replace the correctional facilities in Amherst and Antigonish.
Unfortunately, council and the MLA have been among the few to keep this issue in the spotlight.
Without a doubt a new jail in Springhill would be an economic boost for the community. The jobs created would add security to existing jobs in the community while providing new opportunities. These opportunities would provide new spending in the community while opening the real estate markets in Springhill and the surrounding area to new homeowners. Alas, the business community and supporting resources have not been as vocal.
Job creation of this sort is good for everyone. It gives unions the meat-and-bones to champion long-term jobs in our health care, education and public works. It means there will be more people grabbing a cup of coffee on their way to work and more buying milk and bread on their way home. It is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to say, "Hey. How do I get my cut from this economic pie?"
The decision to build a new jail is not a case of government tossing a dart at a map, pulling a number out of a hat making an announcement. It is a process requiring resources, discussions and tax dollars. In the preceding years to the announcement, money was spent to determine when, where and why a new jail was to be built. Talk of the provincial jail sharing resources with the federal institution was not just a pipedream, but also a preview into the ongoing discussions, work and money being spent to make it a reality.
That the government is willing to toss away potentially $1 million in tax dollars in development and work by scrapping the announcement should be everyone's business and until the NDP gives us a definitive 'yes' or 'no' for the jail the more raucous we stir as a unified community the closer we'll get to that answer.

Organizations: NDP

Geographic location: Springhill, Amherst, Antigonish

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