Mr. Speaker, the community of Vernon in my riding and the men's shelter known as Howard House go back many years together.
After an earlier shelter burned, community members bought an old hospital, cut it into five pieces and moved it on to a new first floor at the present site. That took widespread support.
But then the Liberal government and Correctional Service Canada changed policies about who could be released from prison. Parole boards let offenders out after serving a fraction of their sentence, even when one of the board members judged an inmate likely to re-offend.
Several murders were committed by Vernon Howard House residents. The public learned too late when offenders disappeared. Too few police were hired to protect the innocent and many people got scared and angry.
Now, on February 28, at 7 p.m., local people are invited to the Vernon rec centre to learn more and finally have their say about Howard House. I urge Correctional Service Canada to finally listen.