Feds promise parole office move in August

The controversial parole office on Gilmour will finally move to its new home on Bank Street next month – or so the federal government says

In a letter to Ottawa Centre MP Paul Dewar, federal Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose says the office should be relocated to 122 Bank St. by the end of August,.

That can’t be soon enough for Albert Galpin, the local activist who has fought for the relocation of the office from near Elgin Street Public School for several years.

“This is very encouraging news,” wrote Galpin in an email to Centretown News. “After all the broken promises and disappointments we may finally be near the end of this saga.”

The office initially was scheduled to move in 2006 and several times since then, but was always delayed or postponed for a variety of reason, much to the frustration of local activists, residents and politicians.

In a July interview, Galpin questioned the reliability of both Public Works and Corrections Canada.

"People are just starting to really lose any kind of faith in Corrections Canada and Public Works," said Galpin then.

In the letter, Ambrose claims that the relocation is currently being retrofitted to bring the building’s ventilation up to speed.

“It is failing to provide the necessary air ventilation to the tenants of this federal building,” wrote Ambrose. ”It is causing overheating on the ground floor . . . if this unit was not replaced, it would require constant repairs and eventual replacement.”

The parole office is currently located at the corner of Gilmour and Elgin streets, in direct violation of a Corrections Canada policy requiring parole offices to not be within 300 metres of a school or playground.

It sits directly opposite Elgin Street School and Minto Park, site of the Monument to Murdered and Abused Women.