Mr. Speaker, in resonse to (a), the needs assessment study, commissioned by Transport Canada and involving a consortium of consultants being led by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and the department’s due diligence review are still under way. A final date for the completion of the needs assessment study and due diligence review has not been determined.
In response to (b), once the due diligence and needs assessment study are completed, any next steps will be determined.
In response to (c), maintenance of buildings, Transport Canada is meeting its repair and maintenance obligations on Pickering lands site properties to ensure the safety and security of its tenants while keeping in mind its responsibilities with respect to public moneys. With respect to older structures, Transport Canada is cognizant of the local heritage value of some of the properties on its site and is working with local municipalities to preserve these to the extent possible. Re-rental policies of homes and business structures once tenants move out, are as follows: for vacant residential use properties, at this time, vacant residential properties that have been vacated are not re-marketed. Vacant structures are decommissioned and secured to prevent access by trespassers. However, some vacant properties may be used to relocate other Pickering lands site property tenants whose properties would be too costly to repair or to maintain. For vacant commercial use properties, Transport Canada may consider marketing these properties considering one or more of the following factors: (i) required capital improvements, (ii) marketability of the property; and (iii) adaptability and/or benefit to the surrounding community.
In response to (d), the Greater Toronto Airports Authority has requested early termination of their tenancy at the Bentley House. Transport Canada and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority are working to finalize this request.
In response to (e), Transport Canada intends to publicly market the asset in order to provide the opportunity for all interested parties to lease the Bentley House. The Durham West Arts Centre will be free to submit a bid proposal at that time.
In response to (f), when the Bentley House is publicly marketed and net lease terms subsequently negotiated, Transport Canada will consider four primary factors: (i) the tenant acknowledges, respects and preserves the heritage character of the building in their undertaking of normal business operations and in their maintenance of the building and surroundings; (ii) building alterations are strictly based on approval of the Crown; (iii) the tenant occupies the building for use as a commercial operation which is adaptable and/or of benefit to the surrounding environment/community; and, (iv) the rental rate is at market level, which recognizes the value of the asset and maximizes benefit to the Crown, and therefore taxpayers.
In response to (g), the department needs to complete the needs assessment study and the due diligence review before determining any next steps for the Pickering lands.