May 9, 2002
Senator questions commission authority; N.B. Senator Noel Kinsella suggests National Capital Commission selling off property to cover underfunding from the federal government
On the surface it may appear to be a zoning bylaw issue in Ottawa, but New Brunswick Senator Noel Kinsella says all Canadians stand to lose.
In the Senate yesterday, he waded into an otherwise obscure debate over the fate of a 37.5-hectare waterfront property on the Rideau River known as the Moffat farm. He said the property owner, the National Capital Commission, a federal agency, should abandon its plan to sell the property to a developer for $12 million before the wild parkland is lost for the benefit of all Canadians forever.
"If the NCC needs money for its operations they, like any other government agency, should be taking their case to Parliament and not out selling assets to do it," Kinsella said. It may be time, he said, to review the law creating the NCC that was passed in 1958.
Kinsella's intervention follows a spirited effort to stop the sale from Liberal Senator Anne Cools.
She opposes the sale because it is opposed by nearby homeowners who enjoy the park and she is expected to grill Marcel Beaudry, the chairman of the NCC, at a Senate finance committee meeting June 11.