A new ground-breaking and precedent-setting initiative has been launched by the Coalition Against the Proposed Prison (CAPP) and the Jail Opposition Group (JOG).
We need your help.
CAPP and JOG are now taking legal action to prevent paving over prime agricultural land and bulldozing existing farm buildings in order to build a proposed provincial prison in Kemptville, Ontario, located on prime farmland that was previously part of the Kemptville Agricultural College and is unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin Anishinaabe Territory.
In our latest attempt to hold the Ford government accountable, CAPP/JOG have filed a Notice of Application with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court) for a Judicial Review of the Government of Ontario’s proposed plan. We are doing so on behalf of the many residents, community and agri-food groups who share the frustration caused by the Province’s lack of transparency, lack of consultation, lack of information on its site selection process, and its failure to address the need to preserve farmland and the recurring issues that cascade through the criminal justice and correctional systems.
A successful legal action will establish a precedent for challenging other damaging infrastructure projects from being built on lands designated for other uses and ensuring that obligations that explicitly bind Ministers of the Crown are appropriately considered and adhered to.
The primary grounds for Judicial Review is that the provincial government broke the law by not abiding by its own Provincial Policy Statements and the local Official Plan, as it is obliged to do under the Planning Act. We are therefore challenging the legality of the decision to build a prison in Kemptville and seeking a Prohibition Order which will save the farmland and stop the build.
Like any legal proceeding, the Judicial Review will cost money; we plan to proceed with incremental steps as shown on the Thermometer graphic below.
If the Province decides to stop its farmland-destroying, prison-building plan during the course of the Judicial Review process, any surplus money will be used to press the North Grenville Municipality to re-zone the farmland to protect it for future generations and to register the farmland under the Ontario Farmland Trust to protect it from development in perpetuity. From there, the local community could decide the best use(s) for the valuable farmland, such as sustainable community farm models and/or support land back initiatives led by Indigenous peoples.
A victory in Kemptville will be a victory for everyone working to save precious land that can be used for agricultural and other life-nourishing purposes. Please help us achieve this goal by making a contribution toward the legal costs of this important initiative.
We appreciate your support.