Pending sale of former prison farm land: no information forthcoming from Correctional Service of Canada

Update April 5, 2013: We asked CSC directly whether the sale of the land has closed and today we received a response by mail. We were asked to seek follow-up with the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada, “who has taken over carriage of this file as it relates to the sale of real property”.

I tabled an order paper question to the Government as follows (it should be answered in 45 days, i.e. around mid-May):

Q-12612 — March 25, 2013  — Mr. Hsu (Kingston and the Islands) — With regard to the recent sale of crown land owned by the Correctional Service of Canada, in the amount of 1,554.48 square metres, located on Frontenac Institution in Kingston, Ontario: (a) who was the purchaser; (b) what was the purchase price; (c) what was the closing date of the transaction; (d) what were all of the measures taken to respect the Commissioner’s Directive for Real Property for the Correctional Service of Canada, in particular the statement, under Principles, that, “acquisition and disposal of real property assets will be done in a fair and open manner, which shall include public consultation”; (e) what was the first date of any communications regarding the sale of this land between the government and the purchaser; (f) what was the first date of any communications regarding the sale of this land between the government and parties who expressed interest but ultimately did not purchase the land; and (g) what was the first date of any communications regarding the sale of this land between the government and parties other than those in (e) and (f)?

Update (March 19, 2013):

Confirmation that the land sale is going ahead.

Here is a letter we received from Correctional Service of Canada : Public Notice

 

Update (Feb 28, 2013):

We’ve found the Commissioner’s Directive for Real Property for Correctional Service Canada: http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/plcy/doc/300-cd.pdf

Under the section entitled Principles, it stipulates that,

“acquisition and disposal of real property assets will be done in a fair and open manner, which shall include public consultation.”

 

Today I want to let you know about an action I have just taken with regards to the pending sale of a tract of land in Frontenac Institution, most likely part of the former prison farm lands. I’ll start with some background.

The following advertisement was noted by reporter Paul Schliesmann from the Kingston Whig Standard in an article entitled “Answers hard to come by on sale of prison farm land”, dated Feb. 15, 2013

CSC_notice_of_sale

click to enlarge

 

In response I sent this comment today:

Date: February 22, 2013

To: Barry Birrell, Project Manager Real Property, Correctional Service of Canada

Re: Comment on Notice of Intent of sale of crown land located on Frontenac Institution in the amount of 1,554.48 square metres

I wish to object to the pending sale of this particular parcel of land (noting that the exact geographic location has not been specified, except that it is located on the grounds of Frontenac Institution) and request that a public tender be held for this sale and any sale of any land within the grounds of Frontenac Institution.  I further request that public hearings be held on the government’s plans for the lands of Frontenac Institution that are on the grounds of the former CSC prison farm.

I object to the sale of the land because information has not been forthcoming about the conditions of and parties to the sale, and because I and others might be interested in putting in a bid for this land (in a public process). Regarding the Notice of Intent, the management of CSC has referred me to the Public Safety Minister’s office and I have not had a reply from the Minister’s office. A potential purchaser of the land has not been able to confirm or deny that they are indeed the purchaser. This secrecy sets a negative precedent for the potential sale of former prison farm land, a topic which is of significant interest to  a large number of citizens in and around Kingston. This sensitivity and the fact that the lands of the former prison farm constitute a rare tract of urban prime agricultural land leads me to the second of my requests, for public hearings on the government’s plans for this land.

Sincerely,

Ted Hsu, M.P.

 To comment, please leave a note on my facebook posting: https://www.facebook.com/TedHsuMP/posts/347496765369392

 

The Kingston Whig Standard reported on this blog post here:

http://www.thewhig.com/2013/02/22/mp-looks-for-transparency-on-land-sale

 

 

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