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Government gives first rights of purchase to the expropriated Mirabel farmers

Dec. 12, 2008, Mirabel, Que.- Christian Paradis, Minister of Public Works and Government Services announced today that the government is giving the first rights of purchase to the Mirabel tenant farmers.


December 12, 2008
By Carey Fredericks

Dec. 12, 2008, Mirabel, Que.- Christian Paradis, Minister of Public
Works and Government Services announced today that the Government of Canada
has kept its promise by presenting the first rights of purchase to the Mirabel
tenant farmers, under the Sales Program of the 11,000 acres of reserve land at
Montreal-Mirabel Airport.

In December 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper had announced that the
Government of Canada would allow farmers to purchase the lands that they are
currently leasing from the 11,000-acre Mirabel Airport reserve. At the time, a
transition committee, chaired by Daniel Picotte, was set up to make
recommendations regarding the terms and conditions of the Sales Program.
   
"This initiative is yet another example of the determination of our Prime
Minister and our government in supporting the farmers and their families,"
said Transport Minister John Baird. "The expropriated farmers of the region
now have the opportunity to purchase and regain possession of the land that
they have worked for many years in order to better plan for their future."
   
The selling prices for the properties will be established based on the
market value as at December 18, 2006, the date on which the program was
announced. Tenants and related expropriated owners will be given a 15% price
discount.
       
"This program specifically addresses the wishes expressed by farmers to
again become the owners of their lands, to investment in these lands and to
help realize their full potential as some of the most fertile land in Quebec,"
added Minister Paradis. "By purchasing the lands that they are currently
working, the farmers will encourage agricultural development in the region and
stimulate the regional economy."
       
In light of these first rights of purchase, Transport Canada has
delegated the task of managing the Sales Program to Public Works and
Government Services Canada, effective immediately.

The wetlands located on the 11,000 acres will be henceforth protected
under the Federal Policy on Wetland Conservation (1991), through a partnership
between Transport Canada and Environment Canada.

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