A pair of North Grenville men representing protest organizations say the Ontario government’s planned prison in Kemptville is illegal.
Victor Lachance of the Coalition Against the Proposed Prison and Kirk Albert of the Jail Opposition Group have filed for a Judicial Review of the proposed prison with the Divisional Court of Ontario.
According to their lawyer, Stéphane Émard-Chabot, the planned prison, which was announced in August of 2020, violates the Ontario government’s Provincial Policy Statement and the Municipality of North Grenville’s Official Plan.
“The Judicial Review launched [Monday] by my clients 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,” Émard-Chabot says.
Officials with the Ministry of the Solicitor General say they cannot provide any details on any specific case that is currently before the courts, but the Solicitor General is looking forward to continuing to engage with residents, municipal and ministry partners on this important issue.
“We are proud of the steps our government has taken to strengthen our justice system from top to bottom, including by modernizing correctional facilities in the eastern region of our province through the construction of the new Eastern Ontario Correctional Complex in North Grenville,” says Hannah Jensen, Press Secretary and Communications Officer for the Office of the Solicitor General. “The proposed correctional complex will be the most modern and efficient facility in the province, and will have a special focus on rehabilitation.
The prison has been controversial locally, with multiple protest events occurring since its announcement, and politicians like Ontario Green Party leader Mike Schreiner and former local Ontario Liberal Party candidate Josh Bennett speaking out against it.
MyKemptvilleNow.com has also reached out to Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark, and North Grenville Mayor Nancy Peckford for comment.