OSOYOOS – The Province has selected the Osoyoos Indian Band’s proposed site, in the Senkulmen Enterprise Park on Highway 97, as the preferred location for a new Okanagan correctional centre, Premier Christy Clark announced today.

“This project has the potential to bring incredible economic mbenefits to the South Okanagan and greater public safety formcommunities, correctional staff and inmates across our province,” said Premier Clark. “We look forward to working in partnership with the Osoyoos Indian Band to complete a detailed business plan as the next step in moving this project forward.”

The project will create up to 500 direct and 500 indirect jobs. Oncompletion, the centre will provide the equivalent of 240 new, full-time positions and will more than double corrections capacity in B.C.’s Interior.

After a thorough evaluation of sites proposed by two communities and two bands, BC Corrections selected the industrial park as the best location for the 360-cell facility. Key considerations included project costs, zoning, environmental impacts, accessibility to major transportation routes and the projected completion date.

“The high-security, state-of-the-art centre we envision continues the record investments we are making in the corrections system,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Public Safety, Solicitor General and Attorney General. “We are currently completing the $185-million Phase 1 expansion plan and today’s announcement begins the next phase. The Okanagan correctional centre will add new cells and more corrections officers and will go a long way toward addressing capacity needs in the system.”