The two community groups organising the opposition to the proposed prison in Kemptville have filed a Notice of Application with the Divisional Court of Ontario for a Judicial Review of the Ontario government’s plan. Both the Coalition Against the Proposed Prison (CAPP), and the Jail Opposition Group (JOG) have been researching the background to the decision by the Office of the Solicitor General of Ontario to unilaterally announce the prison project, and have hired the services of Stéphane Émard-Chabot of the law firm Sicotte Guilbault to prepare the legal action which they believe will force the Province to cancel their stated plans and reassess the entire project.
The appeal for a Judicial Review of the province’s decision is based on the assertion that the decision itself was illegal, as it contravened provincial law and the Municipality of North Grenville’s Official Plan. The joint statement by CAPP and JOG reads, in part:
“Through our legal research, our firm has determined that when the provincial government announced in August 2020 that it planned to build a correctional complex on farmland of the former Kemptville Agricultural College they broke the law by not abiding by its own Provincial Policy Statement and the local Official Plan, as it is obliged to do under the Planning Act.”
The Judicial Review “is challenging the legality of the decision and is seeking a Prohibition Order that will save the farmland and several farm buildings located on the property by stopping the construction of the proposed prison”.
The full press release and backgrounder to the appeal is published in this issue of the Times. We will continue to provide updates on the Municipality’s response to the move by CAPP and JOG, as well as any actions taken by the Office of the Solicitor General on the matter.