Windsor

NDP MP Brian Masse doesn't want taxpayers footing the bill for Ojibway Shores land

Windsor West NDP MP Brian Masse has called on the federal government to transfer the Ojibway Shores lands over to Environment Canada.

'The public should not be asked to pay for land they already own'

(Meg Roberts/CBC)

Windsor West NDP MP Brian Masse has called on the federal government to transfer the Ojibway Shores lands over to Environment Canada.

The more than 13 hectare parcel of land along the shoreline in west Windsor is federal property and is currently being managed by the Windsor Port Authority (WPA).

After many attempts to develop the area, the WPA has proposed to lease the land for $10M over 30 years through the Community Benefits fund that is part of "repercussions" for the Gordie Howe International Bridge. The fund is meant to aid the Sandwich Towne neighbourhood and surrounding community close to where the bridge will be. 

"This is obscene, the public should not be asked to pay for land they already own, from a community that needs those funds to reduce poverty, increase health, protect heritage and a better economic future for those most disadvantaged," Masse said in member's statements before Question Period on Wednesday. 

Masse called the move by the WPA a "classic shakedown" and says the funds should go to areas of Sandwich that need it. 

"Having taxpayers pay taxpayers themselves for property they already own, and then to lose that would be certainly a step back in public policy," he said.

The land transfer would be relatively simple to do, wouldn't cost any money, and "have community benefits go to real lives and real people," said Masse.

"Simply at the end of the day it's a two step process for this property to be protected and for community economic development to take place that doesn't require any exchange of funds."

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