The Ontario government could be missing out on an opportunity to build the economy in Gravenhurst, create jobs and increase tax revenue for the province if they can’t come to an agreement to sell the Muskoka Regional Centre property.
That from Norm Miller, MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka, who used the budget debate yesterday to once again raise the issue of the proposed redevelopment of the Muskoka Regional Centre by Maple Leaf Schools.
Miller says residents of Gravenhurst made their wishes clear a number of years ago that they wanted this property to be used for some kind of institution which would bring jobs into the community without putting extra stress on Muskoka Bay. The property has sat vacant since 1993.
The MPP (left) says the Town of Gravenhurst found the ideal partner to build an institution in Maple Leaf Schools, a Chinese private school that offers joint Chinese and Canadian high school diplomas. The town and Maple Leaf Schools are negotiating to purchase the site from the Ontario government but talks seem to be proceeding slowly.
“I just worry. There’s a tight timeline. They’re trying to open the school by September 2019. They hope to be doing demolition of those buildings that are there,” said Miller, “and the company willing to assume this $6.5-million liability of taking down the old buildings and dealing with whatever is there.”
The project would create 200 construction jobs and then 200 permanent jobs once it is completed.
“I hope that we realize the time sensitivity. I hope the Minister of Infrastructure will facilitate the sale of this property so that we can see those jobs being created, which will benefit to the finances of the province of Ontario,” said Miller.