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Grand Lake chosen as site for new jail

By Brad Perry Aug 1, 2023 | 6:36 AM

New Brunswick’s newest $42-million correctional facility will be located in the community of Grand Lake.

The Department of Justice and Public Safety announced on Monday that the jail will be built in Minto.

“We were impressed by the various proposals and we are excited to move forward,” Public Safety Minister Kris Austin said in a news release.

“The expressions of interest and the quality of the applications confirm our belief this is an excellent opportunity for a community.”

Austin is the MLA for the riding of Fredericton-Grand Lake, which includes the community of Minto.

According to his department, nine communities expressed interest to house the new jail and five submitted applications.

Officials said the site in Minto, which is located on Industrial Park Road, scored the highest based on the criteria provided.

The provincially-owned property exceeds the minimum 8.8 hectares required and has a treed buffer to help isolate the facility from other properties.

There are “few” residential properties in the immediate surrounding area, said the department, and the site is less than the stipulated 60-minute maximum travel time from Fredericton.

It also has direct access to a main road and does not have any wetlands or adverse soil conditions.

The new jail was supposed to be built in Fredericton’s Vanier Industrial Park, but the province suddenly pulled the plug in May over concerns raised by the public.

At the time, the department said it was looking at a location outside of the city “to minimize any perceived impact upon residents.”

Austin has maintained the province requires a new jail in order to reduce overcrowding in existing facilities.

“Throughout the discussions surrounding the plan to build a jail in Fredericton, no one has suggested or shown this is not the case,” Austin said in a January statement.

“Overcrowded jails are a safety issue for inmates and correctional staff and the safety of those individuals is our top priority.”

The minister noted that the province’s population is growing and its crime rate increased by 26 per cent over the past five years.

Meanwhile, Austin said a request for proposal for the Grand Lake facility’s design has been filed and an opening date will be announced once a design has been finalized.


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