A special council meeting has been set surrounding the controversial prison being proposed in Kemptville.

Back on February 25, the Coalition Against the Proposed Prison and the Jail Opposition Group submitted a request to make a presentation about the proposed Eastern Ontario Correctional Complex. 

The meeting was originally set for March 16, but last week the municipality cancelled it, and rescheduled for March 23. 

CAPP member Victor Lachance says to date, council has held no discussions on where the municipality stands on the matter.

“We’re not sure now how this will play out,” Lachance said. “We welcome the idea of a special meeting, this should have happened some time ago in our view. And it may still be a good thing, but it shouldn’t be a trade off between what we wanted to do on the 16th, and what they’re offering on the 23rd.” 

Lachance says they saw the initial meeting as a chance to get opposing voices on the record about the prison.

Over the past several months, CAPP has held several meetings outlining their opposition to the facility, but they still have many questions for the province and municipality that have gone unanswered.

Lachance says there are two key messages they want to convey to council.

“The two key messages the council needs to hear is that they shouldn’t be making deals behind closed doors based on little sweeteners they were offered back in October, and nothing should be happening on that site until our questions have been answered,” Lachance said.  

Lachance says CAPP would like to see the land used for more positive uses – like a mental health center, community gardens, or some other type of social activity area.

He hopes the meeting will shed light on some of the details surrounding the proposed prison, which the province has been quiet on. 

“They’ve had plenty of time to provide that information, the public needs that information to know whether this is a good idea, and it’s not being provided,” Lachance said. “So, at the very least, no work should happen on the site and council needs to stand up and say where exactly they stand on this issue.”

The meeting is set for March 23 at 6:30 p.m.