Coalition Against the Proposed Prison calls on Ontario Minister Lisa Thompson to stop the transfer and destruction of landmark heritage farmland to build a prison in Kemptville
December 13, 2021: In an open letter sent earlier today to the Honourable Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the Kemptville Coalition Against the Proposed Prison (CAPP), is calling on her not to authorize the transfer of the former Kemptville College farm property from her ministry to the Ministry of the Solicitor General (SolGen) who plans to build a provincial prison on the site. Should the land transfer and the planned prison proceed, it will result in the destruction of heritage farmland with a century-long history of farming, education and agrotourism.
During a November 17, 2021 public engagement session held by SolGen, staff informed local residents of plans for the land transfer to be completed in 2022, although specific timelines were not provided. In addition to requesting that Minister Thompson cease all plans to transfer the land to SolGen, CAPP is asking that she begin the process for meaningful consultation with key stakeholders with the goal of preserving the entire site as an agricultural resource.
“There is an opportunity here for Minister Thompson and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to take a strong stand in support of Ontario’s farmland and agricultural heritage, as well as the rich history of this property, by preserving the site as an agricultural resource for generations to come. In a time of food insecurity, supply chain interruptions and climate catastrophe, the Province must save, not pave over farmland”, stated CAPP member and the letter’s author, Marie-Therese Voutsinos.