Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Rural areas may fund restorative justice

by Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star posted Aug 10, 2016 at 1:00 AM— updated Aug 10, 2016 at 5:51 AM
The North Okanagan’s rural communities could ultimately fund an alternative justice program. Electoral Area Advisory Committee members have instructed staff to initiate the process that could create a service that funds the Restorative Justice Society. “I think it’s a worthwhile cause,” said Rick Fairbairn, the director for rural Lumby. “We’re not talking a whole lot of dollars.” If the service is formed, the five electoral areas would likely provide $2,400 a year to the society. Based on $2,500, BX-Swan Lake would contribute $659, while $710 would come from BX-Silver Star, $362 from rural Lumby, $110 from Cherryville and $659 from rural Enderby. Through restorative justice, people who have committed an offence meet with the victim to talk about what happened and what can be done to correct the situation. If possible, it is a way for the offender to remain out of jail and turn their life around. “If we can keep one person from becoming a prolific offender, the money is a good investment,” said Hank Cameron, Cherryville director. Presently, funding for the Restorative Justice Society comes from the City of Vernon ($44,858) and the provincial government. Some grants come from other local jurisdictions on an annual basis. Voter assent will be required in each electoral area for the funding service to be formed.
Economy considered
The Regional District of North Okanagan could get into the economic development business. There is a discussion about possibly establishing an economic development service. Presently, a new or existing business doesn’t have anyone at RDNO or the smaller municipalities to contact. “The City of Vernon often fields those questions,” said Laura Frank, regional planning projects manager. An RDNO economic development service could possibly run through Community Futures and include all jurisdictions outside of Vernon. However, the function would not operate in isolation from the city. “We want to make sure the function is complimentary to the work already being done,” said Frank of the city’s efforts.

No comments: