Deal on horizon for Kapyong Barracks land: sources
Published Tuesday, November 27, 2012 5:56PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 27, 2012 6:59PM CST
The Kapyong Barracks is a 160 acre parcel of land along Kenaston Boulevard and Grant Avenue in Winnipeg that has sat empty for years.
A court battle over the valued property has delayed development of the site, but an end to that could soon be coming to an end.
CTV News has been told a deal could be on the horizon to end the court battle and a settlement could potentially see the creation of an urban reserve on a portion of the site.
The site has been vacant since 2004 and that could soon change.
“Rather than being irrational about things, we’re trying to be practical and move this along,” said Chief Donovan Fontaine of Sagkeeng First Nation.
CTV News has been told Ottawa could be willing to settle with seven First Nations groups over ownership of the land.
“It's really been moving along fast in a positive direction. We've been talking how to expedite this outside of the court process,” said Fontaine.
In 2005, Ottawa decided to redevelop the property.
But soon after, the First Nations filed a court motion claiming ownership of the land because of an 1871 treaty.
The court sided with aboriginal leaders. Ottawa appealed and now the case is still before the courts. Rather than continue in court, Fontaine said a deal could soon be finalized.
He said if an agreement on the deal is reached, the First Nations would enter into a partnership with Ottawa.
He said that could include the creation of an urban reserve, including a mixed development of housing and commercial space.
“This would be in an urban zone, a commercial zone, a real active hub for traffic,” said Fontaine.
Marilyn King lives behind the barracks and would like to see a green space on the site.
She hopes the new development doesn’t bring traffic woes.
“Just as long as the creation of the land doesn’t cause more traffic problems or noise problems,” said King.
A development plan for the site could help ease traffic.
“That would be an incredible thing. I would be so happy,” said Coun. Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood – Tuxedo).
She said a settlement would mean the city could begin the needed expansion of Kenaston Boulevard.
“What that would mean is that Kenaston could proceed to be widened - the next step would be to look for the money to do that," said Havixbeck.
She said she will push for public consultation on what should be developed on the site.
It’s not yet known what could happen to the homes on the Kapyong base.
Chief Fontaine mentioned them as a possibility for housing First Nations people.
The federal government did not return CTV Winnipeg’s calls on Nov. 27 regarding Kapyong.
More details could be released later this week. Sources told CTV a deal could be finalized as early as Nov. 30.
The Kapyong Barracks have sat vacant in Winnipeg since 2004.