Beaconsfield residents expressed their fears and concerns en masse to the city council last Monday about the new Batshaw project, the first phase of which should be completed by the end of 2014. Now that the demolition schedule for the current building occupying the designated space has been set, residents are getting increasingly fearful about the project.
The Beaconsfield Citizens' Association (BCA) president Greg Stienstra asked Mayor David Pollock to make public the impact studies the city and its urban planning department have conducted to evaluate the impact of the project on infrastructure like roads, sewers and water, the environment, traffic patterns, noise, quality of life and property values.
Stienstra also asked what preparations the city had made to minimize the cost and disruption of the community as well as waste, and cited inadequate water pressure in his objections.
Resident George Bourelle complained about the fact that the city may end up with a lock-down facility just like Dorval even though for now, Batshaw has stated the project will be an open facility.
Mayor David Pollock responded that the project was still years away and not a done deal yet.
"What I've read, Batshaw still doesn't have the money or the approval to go ahead with this project. That land is owned by the Société Immobilière du Québec. They need provincial funding. They have to go through this process; they've submitted a request for a demolition permit. Once they have the financing, it may take three years," he said.
Resident Gilles Perron also shared Bourelle's fear that the city might end up with a lock-down facility down the road. He asked Pollock why he didn't follow suit on his Nov. 19 notice of motion to bar the lock-down possibility.
"Nothing's for sure that in 15 or 20 years from now, they will not play the same game as in Dorval and open up a lock-in facility. Most of us are very concerned about lock-in facility with a 12-foot fence on our own property. On Nov. 19, you introduced a notice of motion to in effect bar the lock-down possibility. You did this after a consultation with your lawyer, one of the best in Quebec. Give us some guarantees; we don't want to wake up in ten, twenty years to have this detention centre," he said.
Batshaw will present their project at city hall on March 11 at 7:30 p.m.