A $10 million settlement to the Algonquins of Ontario is in the works for the former CFB Rockcliffe site, the Sun has learned.
According to a preliminary participation agreement obtained by the Sun — which outlines the terms of the settlement but is unsigned — the federal government will pay the Algonquins $10 million for the rights to the land.
The amount was confirmed by Robert Potts, principal negotiator and senior legal counsel for the Algonquins of Ontario.
“It’s a piece of the overall puzzle,” said Potts.
The Department of National Defence was in the process of selling the 126-hectare property to the Canada Lands Company in 2007 but that came to a halt when an Algonquin land claim surfaced four years ago.
Potts said creating a modern-day treaty 200 years later has never been done in Ontario and is a unique process requiring careful deliberation.
“We’re endeavouring to reach an agreement in principle,” said Potts.
“It’s a very complicated, very detailed piece.”
Plans for redevelopment at Rockcliffe would begin soon after the transfer from DND to the CLC is finalized.
Once that happens, “the city will have a fairly significant say in what happens there,” said Ottawa-Vanier MP Mauril Belanger.
And public consultations would be part of that.
Several years ago, plans surfaced for a mixed use development with eight sections encompassing 4,500 to 5,000 housing units, stores and offices.
Starting prices for single-family homes in the posh North Ottawa neighbourhood were estimated at $1 million.
Roughly 10,000 to 15,000 people could call the former air force base home.
Belanger said he wants to see a plan for sustainability to avoid creating a bedroom community.
Citing the proximity of employment at the National Research Council facility, Belanger is hoping to see more jobs in the area.
“If you don’t have jobs in this community, everybody’s going to get in their cars and go to work,” he said.
Rideau-Rockcliffe Coun. Peter Clark — in whose ward the former base sits — said he’d like the Rockcliffe site to be as self-contained as possible.
That will be one of the challenges as developers bid for the project.
“There may not be anyone who can step to the plate and buy it all,” said Innes Coun. Rainer Bloess, who sits on the city’s planning committee.
Urban planning will play a key role and Clark said transportation studies will be done to demonstrate the new development will not be a burden on the existing community.
Bloess said the community will put “a new stamp or new face on Ottawa.”