May 23, 2014 6:56 pm
Updated: May 23, 2014 8:26 pm

WATCH: First sod turned on new Okanagan prison

OLIVER – At first, it was considered a controversial project and faced strong opposition.

But now, people are buzzing with anticipation for the construction of the Okanagan Correctional Centre (OCC).

Today, dignitaries and officials finally break ground on the $192.9-million prison.

The facility will be built on 36 acres of Osoyoos Indian Band land.

This is the first time a prison has ever been built on a first nations reserve.

“After many years of negotiations and planning, it is good to witness the groundbreaking of this very important project for our region,” said Chief Clarence Louie.

Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton said this project will be a major economic driver.

“This state-of-the-art correctional centre will create 1,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction,” said Anton.

For a virtual tour of the OCC, click here.

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