The Town of Hawkesbury was not able to find a buyer for the Christ-Roi. Interested buyers could acquire the land for one dollar, contingent upon providing a performance deposit of $50,000 for demolishing the building within six months following the purchase.
Lascelles Engineering & Associates, which was mandated by the town to decontaminate the soil, found that it was much more contaminated than anticipated. The decontamination has cost the town $30,000 when it realized the soil contained more contaminants coming from an adjacent private property.
Council decided to finance the demolition of Christ-Roi which, according to Councillor André Chamaillard, could be more than $400,000 due to the contamination.
Council also decided to tear down the old Hawkesbury Mosque, located at 651 Main Street.
The building is owned by Kaniz Fatema Nipa, a relative of Ashraf Hossain Siddicky who once owned the unregistered Hawkesbury University that was sanctioned by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities back in 2010.
According to the restraining order issued against Mr. Siddicky on April 19, 2010, Siddicky is stated as saying that he is “a lawyer doing work here for Bangladesh and that he helps immigrants come to Canada.”
Mr. Siddicky’s company, Prestige Bar & Grill (2086749 Ontario inc.) hasn’t been paying taxes on the property for the last three years.
“We have a law that states that if someone hasn’t paid their taxes in three years, we issue a tax certificate on the property,” said Philippe Timbers, Hawkesbury’s treasurer.
“Once the tax certificate is issued, the owners have one year to pay the entire amount of the taxes owed on the property or else the town can put the property for sale. The asking price will be the amount of taxes owed by the previous owner. If the owner wishes to keep the property, he must come up with the amount due; at this point we cannot make any payment arrangements,” Timbers added.
The town was not able to sell the property and will therefore be demolishing the Mosque along with the Christ-Roi. Councillor André Chamaillard suggested the possibility of creating an entryway where the Hawkesbury Mosque is now located to give better access to the Cyr-de-Lasalle Park right behind the Christ-Roi.
“The legal procedures are underway and we should get answers in the next few weeks to confirm the demolition of both buildings,” Timbers concluded.