Mayor Peckford and Council are appealing to Minister Sylvia Jones, Ontario’s Solicitor General, for more clarity regarding the potential financial impacts on North Grenville’s taxpayers regarding policing costs resulting from the future correctional facility scheduled for 2027, and announced by the province in August, 2020.
“The topic of policing costs is still a major concern to members of our community, as it has been for Council from the start of these conversations. Our community expressed these concerns loud and clear during the community engagement session hosted by the Ministry of the Solicitor General on November 17,” said Mayor Nancy Peckford.
Mayor Peckford sent Minister Sylvia Jones a letter on November 11 asking for clarity on several items, including facility infrastructure requirements, the transfer of the surplus lands to the municipality, and the approach to policing costs. The response from Minister Jones on December 2 addressed most of the concerns, but the issue of policing costs remains.
As a result, Mayor Peckford sent a follow-up letter to Minister Jones on December 9, reiterating the need to ensure North Grenville is not burdened by policing costs attached to the facility, and requested a meeting with Minister Jones and her senior staff to discuss it further.
“As Chair of the North Grenville Police Services Board, we have been extremely careful in monitoring costs related to the deployment of the OPP. It is not appropriate that any policing costs related to the future provincial correctional facility are borne by the community,” added Councillor John Barclay.
“We are paying close attention to the experience of the Town of Penetanguishene, among others, and I recently had a discussion with the Penetanguishene Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer. As we have stated from the beginning, it is crucial that all costs related to the correctional facility’s design, construction, and operations – including policing – are financed by the province,” emphasized Mayor Peckford.
Copies of this correspondence with the SolGen office can be seen on the Municipal web site at www.northgrenville.ca/news.