When I was a young lad, I was briefly under the impression that Collins Bay Penitentiary was in fact Disney’s Magic Kingdom. After visiting Walt Disney World around the age of 4, I returned to the Limestone City with the knowledge that Collins Bay Pen was not a fairytale castle. I mean let’s face it, the Magic Kingdom doesn’t even have a red roof. And why would Walt Disney need to build huge, fortress-like walls around a majestic playground. Fast forward to about a year ago, when we caught wind that the federal government was considering cancelling the prison farm programs at Collins Bay and Joyceville institutions. The rumour mill instantly went from zero to crazy, while many speculated about what would happen to the farm land around Collins Bay. Would it eventually be sold to the City and become an industrial zone? Perhaps private developers would by up large chunks of land and build condos, and more big box stores. And the latest revelation, what if Collins Bay Penitentiary were to expand and become a super-mega-prison?
Personally, I don’t buy the argument that the prison farm program needs to be cut to help ease our budget. I think that the benefits including training inmates as well as the added green space, far outweigh our need for condos, super-prisons, or even an Ikea. If you agree, perhaps you’ll consider attending an evening of music and words on March 20th, to save Canada’s prison farms. Special thanks to NapaneeGal for today’s photo, which is magical. However it’s not the Magic Kingdom.