The Ministry of the Solicitor General will host the initial community engagement session regarding the provincial correctional facility in North Grenville on Thursday, November 26. The virtual session will run from 5-8 p.m. using the Zoom video conferencing system, and will feature a question and answer period. Although the decision to place the new facility in Kemptville is final, according to the Solicitor General’s office, this session may allow residents to get clarification on what precisely will be involved in the institution, and what its impact on North Grenville may be.
Local MPP, Steve Clark, also Minister for Municipalities and Housing, issued a statement about the session: “I’m pleased that the government is holding this initial community wide session so early on in the process following the announcement in August. At the time of the announcement, I committed to ensuring there would be a robust engagement with the residents of North Grenville throughout the process and that it would start this fall. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to participate in the session and hear from the community along with the Ministry of the Solicitor General.”
However, it does seem that this session is more as a result of North Grenville Mayor and Council insisting on it at as early a date as possible. The entire roll-out of this project has been badly handled, as most commentators have agreed, and even at this stage, there is still confusion over the details of the facility, and what, if any, compensation the municipality may receive if infrastructure changes are required, particularly with regard to water and sewage.
The initial announcement on August 27 gave a brief sketch of the new network of facilities in Eastern Ontario. This included building a new correctional complex on government-owned property in Kemptville, replacing the Brockville Jail with a new facility, and expanding the St. Lawrence Valley Correctional and Treatment Centre in Brockville.
Steve Clark gave a positive spin on what the project would mean for the communities involved: “Together, these projects represent the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars into our communities to support the creation of new jobs and provide a boost to our local economy. These modern, safe facilities will reduce overcrowding and create better working conditions for our outstanding correctional staff, while providing enhanced mental health supports and rehabilitation programming to those in custody.”
To participate, please register at the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/community-engagement-session-eastern-ontario-correctional-complex-tickets-128537949467.