Letter to the Editor – Correctional Facility

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Dear Editor,

I have recently been trying to get information from the Ministry of the Solicitor General (SolGen) and Infrastructure Ontario (IO) regarding the proposed Kemptville jail. In particular, I’ve had to use the Freedom of Information Act to try and get documents tied to the Survey and Topographic Plan, one of many due diligence activities required for the proposed site of the jail. When I attended SolGen’s public meeting in November, 2021, ministry staff reported that these plans were ‘complete’, and I therefore assumed access would be a simple process.

SolGen’s response was that they did not have a copy of the Plan, and they returned my $150 deposit. Some time later, IO denied my request for the documents claiming that it involved “Third Party Information” and that it would be counter to the “Economic Interests of Ontario”. This is starting to look like a pre-election delaying tactic. What can possibly be the problem with letting me have a copy of the land survey? Does the floodplain on the site require some mitigating strategies? Do buildings need to be removed, adding costs to the project? 

My only option now is to appeal, for which I will again have to pay. So much for the promised transparency and accountability. Perhaps our MPP Steve Clark could find money in his budget to cover the cost of the appeal? Or maybe he could get the information for us, in the economic and third-party interest of his constituents? 

Colin Creasey, Kemptville

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