Farmers Forum staff
KEMPTVILLE — Once the International Plowing Match clears out, Kemptville can look forward to eventually hosting prisoners at the former college campus farmland property — but not if local opponents have their way. They are headed to court in a bid to stop the proposed provincial prison.
Kemptville residents Victor Lachance and Kirk Albert applied last month to the divisional court of Ontario for a judicial review of the project. Lachance and Albert respectively represent two grassroots groups — the Coalition Against Proposed Prison and the Jail Opposition Group.
They maintain that the province did not hold any meaningful consultation with the public and contravened its own provincial policy statement as well as the local official plan when Minister Steven Clark announced plans for the new correctional institution in 2020.
Ontario’s prison system is currently so overcrowded, a 2019 report by a public sector union described the situation as a “crisis.” At least 29 correctional facilities and jails in the province have been closed since the mid-1990s when Ontario was home to about 4-million fewer people.
Kemptville College closed in 2015.