Joint statement on agreement in principle to sell a large portion of Kemptville campus
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal and David Gordon, Mayor of North Grenville, released the following joint statement:
November 8, 2017
The Government of Ontario and Municipality of North Grenville are pleased to have reached an agreement in principle to sell a large portion of the main campus, and surrounding property of the former Kemptville College Campus, where the University of Guelph previously delivered agricultural programming, to the Municipality of North Grenville.
This agreement in principle, when implemented, will help North Grenville transform the majority of the Kemptville campus into a multi-tenant, education and community hub focussing on 3 pillars: education and training, health and wellness and economic development. By working together, we are ensuring that the Kemptville site remains a positive economic asset for the community.
“I am pleased that by working with the Municipality of North Grenville, we have reached an agreement in principle that reflects the needs of the municipality and the province. I’d like to also take the opportunity to thank Brian Carré, Chief Administrative Officer, for working diligently to help achieve a positive outcome for all parties” said Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
“I would like to express my sincere thanks to Minister Leal, the ARIO and the University of Guelph for their continued support to maintain the facilities throughout this transition. The renewal of the former Kemptville Campus will see the property and building infrastructure repurposed for bilingual education and related community service activities, under the mandate of climate change adaptation and agricultural resiliency. Partnership discussions with both public and private sector organizations, including government and private industry are ongoing” said David Gordon, Mayor of the Municipality of North Grenville.
This outcome is good news for the residents of North Grenville, surrounding communities and the province. The agreement in principle fulfills the Ontario government’s commitment to find innovative and sustainable solutions that return value for Ontario taxpayers while helping the municipality meet the local needs of the community.
We look forward to providing additional details regarding this agreement once finalized.
In 2014, the province hired Lyle Vanclief, a former federal Minister of Agriculture, to explore options for the future of the campus. His report recommended that the government enter into negotiations with North Grenville to transfer the property to the municipality.
In 2015, the government established a Learning Working Group to explore new learning models for delivering learning, training and instruction at the Kemptville campus. The working group’s report concluded there were no early adopters for post-secondary education at the campus at that time.
Subsequently, Minister Leal instructed OMAFRA to collaborate with the Municipality of North Grenville to reach a solution that meets the needs of North Grenville and Eastern Ontario while ensuring a fair return for Ontario taxpayers.
Findings from a 2016 BDO Feasibility Study recommended a mixed use education and community hub for the renewal of the Kemptville Campus.
The terms of the agreement in principle to sell a portion of the land and facilities owned by the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO), a provincial agency reporting to OMAFRA, to the Municipality of North Grenville ensures that Ontario taxpayers receive a fair return on the sale.