Senneville lodge closure leaves gulf in veterans' hearts

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Canada Lands Company buys property

Senneville lodge closure leaves gulf in veterans' hearts

While buildings at the old Senneville Lodge stand ready to be demolished after the property's recent sale from Veterans Affairs Canada to Canada Lands Company, some remained concerned that the property's destruction would be of no benefit to the many veterans that have gone there to play golf or socialize for years. "That's possibly the only socializing that these people have," said Norm Trinque, who used to run the golf course on the property as manager.

According to Trinque, several of the people who took advantage of the golf course were veterans, often living at the Ste. Anne's Veteran's Hospital, with no other place to go to and relax. "I feel bad for them," he said.

However, Canada Lands Company, a crown corporation which purchases property from federal departments when they no longer serve their original purpose, said shedding a tear over the loss of the Lodge is a little premature. "There were a lot of safety issues associated to the buildings (at the Lodge)," said CLC's vice president, public and government affairs, Gordon McIvor. Several of the buildings were falling apart, and they had to be destroyed, he said.

Once CLC decides who the buildings' destruction contract will go to, McIvor said, and the work is done, the plan is to hold public consultations on ideas about what to do with the property. "The public always, always has lots of ideas," he said. If anything, he said, it might be difficult to build a consensus since he expects so many different suggestions on what to do with the property.

One project that is sure to turn up at the public consultation is a 60-unit social housing residence for seniors. The brainchild of former Lake St. Louis federal Liberal MP Clifford Lincoln and a large group of veterans, the project also has the backing of Ste. Anne de Bellevue mayor Bill Tierney and has been shopped around at Senneville council before, too. "We've been looking at various alternatives of our plan, possibly involving a short-haul golf course," Lincoln told The Chronicle. He said the group he is with is hoping to be a large part of the public consultation process. "This is a very special place (to the Veterans)," Lincoln added. "This, to them, has been a symbolic place," he said.

There are no project estimates for what Lincoln and the Veterans want to do with the lodge territory as of now, he said, since the project has too many different potential forms.

Tierney said he would still like to see that idea go through. "The project we're talking about will continue," he said.

The Town of Senneville did not return phone calls as of press time.

Organizations: Canada Lands Company, Veterans Affairs Canada, Senneville council The Chronicle

Geographic location: Senneville, Lake St. Louis

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  • Allison Shaw
    June 17, 2011 - 18:17

    Quebec Premier Jean Charest wants to see ALL federal property in Canada transferred to the CLC, according to "Let the Future Begin" - Jean Charest, 1997; and I quote: "Today the Government of Canada owns in excess of $40 billion in real estate...The Canada Lands Company was created to dispose of federal real estate assets...all remaining federal real estate assets will be transferred to the Canada Lands Company, which will report to the Minister of Finance." In 1969, the CLC expropriated 97,000 acres of land for Mirabel.