Kingston Penitentiary to close its doors after 178 years

Ted Hsu
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On Monday, September 30, 2013, Kingston Penitentiary will close its doors after 178 years of operation.  I have already written about the problems arising from this unexpected closure and I have questioned the Conservative Party’s claims on the costs and savings of the closure. Now, a mere three days before the Penitentiary is set to close, we still don’t know what the government plans to do with the site.

There have been many different proposals for the future of the KP site, a National Historic Site of Canada. For the month of October, volunteers with Corrections backgrounds will be offering tours of the Penitentiary to fundraise for United Way’s Kingston chapter. It’s been great to see how enthusiastically people have responded to these sold-out tours: in one weekend, they sold 9000 tickets and raised over $150,000.

I still don’t know what the plan for the KP site will be beyond October. However, this is a publically-owned asset and the federal government has a responsibility to make the best use of it. I will be insisting that the federal government obtain the maximum value out of the KP site.

What do you think should happen to the Kingston Penitentiary site?

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