Ottawa

Plan for new RCMP HQ put on hold

A plan to move the RCMP into bigger and more modern headquarters in Ottawa has been shelved following accusations that the real-estate deal had been sealed with the help of a key Conservative lobbyist.

A plan to move the RCMP into bigger and more modern headquarters in Ottawa has been shelved following accusations that the real-estate deal had been sealed with the help of a key Conservative lobbyist.

Last March, the Conservative government signed a letter of intent with Minto Developments in Ottawa to rent the old JDS Uniphase building for 25 years at a cost of $600 million.

At the end of the period the government would pay $1 to buy the building, which is on Merivale Road near Prince of Wales Drive.

Minto paid only $28 million for the building last year, prompting the opposition to cry foul over the huge markup in price. The key lobbyist for the developer was veteran Conservative Fred Doucet, former aide to prime ministers Brian Mulroney and Kim Campbell.

The letter of intent with Minto was allowed to expire Thursday, and the government indicated it was reopening the tendering process to other developers in its effort to find a new headquarters for the RCMP.

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