The Municipality of North Grenville also prepared an Expression of Interest which outlined the Municipality’s desire to assume the operation and maintenance responsibilities being undertaken by the University of Guelph for the 343 hectares (847 acres) of land associated with Kemptville College. It was proposed that the Municipality would undertake these responsibilities through a wholly owned Municipal not-for-profit corporation. In addition to the operation and maintenance responsibilities, this new corporation would also assume the management responsibilities of the strategic partnerships and multiple tenants that would reside at the College. The Expression of Interest concluded with a statement outlining the Municipality’s willingness to consider assuming ownership of the Kemptville College lands and facilities from the Province of Ontario, through a comprehensive due diligence exercise.
Both of these reports were submitted to the Provincial Facilitator, Honourable Lyle Vanclief, who was tasked with the responsibility to explore, identify and develop options for a sustainable path forward for the Kemptville College on behalf of the Province. The report that the Facilitator submitted in December of 2014 to the Minister of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs, entitled Future of the Kemptville College Campus recommended that:
“The Government of Ontario enter into negotiations with the Municipality of North Grenville to transfer the ongoing management and operation of the Kemptville College Campus to the Municipality with the eventual divestiture of the lands and buildings known as the Kemptville Campus from the Government of Ontario to the Municipality of North Grenville in order to renew and redevelop the Campus into an educational and multi-purpose community hub that meets the needs of eastern Ontario; and that financial support be provided by the Government of Ontario to assist with the management and transfer.”
The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs accepted the Facilitator’s recommendation and established a Working Group to explore the feasibility of new models for delivering learning, training and instruction at Kemptville College, following-up on the numerous leads identified in the Facilitator's report. The Working Group was tasked with exploring courses and programs that could be offered at the campus, as well as which organizations could help deliver them. Specifically, the Working Group was to look at ways for Kemptville College to continue to focus on agriculture and food education, as well as considering offering courses in health and wellness, business and trades training. Membership in the working group includes representatives from:
- Municipality of North Grenville
- United Counties of Leeds and Grenville
- Ontario's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
- Ontario's Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
- University of Guelph
The Working Group’s report concluded that:
“The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs established a Working Group to explore opportunities for continued agriculture and food education programming at Kemptville Campus. The focus of the Working Group was to contact existing post-secondary institutions in Ontario that were previously identified as potential vehicles for this agriculture and food education.
The Working Group completed its task and found that there were no existing post-secondary institutions in Ontario who are interested in providing agriculture or any other form of education or training at Kemptville Campus at this time. It is felt that this lack of interest in pursuing the many opportunities available at Kemptville Campus is in large part due to the demographic and financial realities facing post secondary institutions in Ontario today.
There are however, a number of exciting opportunities that are outside of the mandate of the Working Group which appear to be promising and which should be encouraged, as the Province continues to work with the Municipality of North Grenville to secure a long-term solution that will support regional economic growth, as well as encourage agricultural education and training in eastern Ontario.”
The Municipality then retained the services of BDO Canada to undertake the necessary Business Feasibility Study required under Section 203 of the Municipal Act 2001 and Regulation 599/06, to assess the concept of creating a Municipal not-for-profit corporation responsible for the operation, maintenance and eventual ownership of Kemptville College and the establishment and operation of the Kemptville Centre for Rural Advancement.
The Business Feasibility Assessment Report will focus on a description of the proposed multi-tenant campus and an assessment of the market, technical, financial and organizational details associated with such a venture. The report will provide a conclusion on the appropriateness of the Municipality of North Grenville proceeding with its vision for the future of Kemptville College, based on sound business principles.The Business Feasibility Study will be presented to Council and the public on Monday, April 4th, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at the North Grenville Municipal Centre. Click here to see the full notice on the presentation of the report.