During the final council meeting of the year, councillors were informed that the $40 million investment would not go forward.
As previously reported, the documents in Monday’s agenda indicated the Baawating Urban Indigenous Hub and Housing Development was not going ahead.
When questioned by Councillor Scott as to the reasons, Tom Vair, Deputy CAO, Community Development and Enterprise Services was initially reluctant to share information.
“It was a report that was commissioned by the Baawating Urban Indigenous Committee. They shared a copy with the city. I’m not sure that we can share the details of the report publicly,” said Vair.
Scott then asked for a little more clarification asking if the results of the Phase 1 environmental assessment were the reason for the investment being pulled.
“I think there were certainly there was no surprises that the site has contamination based on its prior uses,” said Vair. “But it was one of the factors as indicated in the letter that the Baawating Urban Indigenous Committee weighed upon as they decided whether to proceed with the site.”
Mayor Christian Provenzano noted he had been in conversation with Justin Marchand who is the Executive Director of the Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services. He brought good news to the council on the file.
“I had a conversation with Mr. Marchand just this past weekend, and they’re still very interested in proceeding and actively looking for other sites,” said Provenzano. “Your staff (Vair) will continue to work with them, and I’ve got confidence we can move this project forward.”
City staff notes the site is very marketable now that they own the full parcel of land.