Ottawa

Feds cement deal for new RCMP HQ

The RCMP has chosen the former JDS Uniphase campus in Ottawa as its new national headquarters, after a long process mired in controversy.

The RCMP has chosen the former JDS Uniphase campus in Ottawa as its new national headquarters, after a long process mired in controversy.

The federal government announced on Aug. 11 that the site at 3000 Merivale Road in south Nepean would be bought from property developer Minto Developments Inc.

The exact terms of the deal have not yet been revealed.

The federal government originally signed a letter of intent with Minto to rent the building on Merivale Road near Prince of Wales Drive for 25 years at a cost of $600 million, then buy the building for $1.

The plan to move into the large, more modern building was initially put on hold after members of the federal Liberal party raised allegations of secrecy and sole-source contracting.

Minto paid only $28 million for the building in 2005, prompting the opposition to cry foul over the huge markup in price.

They alleged that the real-estate deal had been sealed because the key lobbyist for the developer was veteran Conservative Fred Doucet, a former aide to prime ministers Brian Mulroney and Kim Campbell.

In June, the Tory government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper put the deal on hold to give other companies 15 days to present competing proposals.

Nepean-Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre, a Tory, said the competition process had been fair, transparent and open, but no companies could match the deal offered by Minto.

"There were no other sites could even compete because this deal was such a excellent bargain for taxpayers," said Poilievre.

"It's the right decision for the taxpayers, for the RCMP and for the community."

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