The deal between the Town of Midland and Ken Michaud of Consar Development Corporation to buy the former Unimin property from us and develop the Midland Bay Landing waterfront as well as build condos etc was signed on March 20th 2015 to much fanfare despite the fact that Michaud has a criminal past in relation to failed waterfront development. We all recall Mayor Gord McKay’s tacit defence when questioned about this where he uttered “we are not all lily white“. With no axe to grind with Mr Michaud if he follows through with this project, we have been skeptically watching for progress, hoping our fears don’t realize.
We beat that dead horse online and offline and yet Council stood by their man despite so many good reasons not to – in our and many other people’s opinion. Notwithstanding those concerns, Consar was selected and had 18 months to do the first phase, which was remediation of the site to remove the silica and other contaminants that make human habitation impossible. The deadline for that work to be complete is September 20th 2016. Now, we are no developers but it doesn’t take an engineering degree to see that nothing has been done to that property and in our consultations with those experienced in these projects, it is too large and expensive to pull off on time if started today and certainly not for the price quoted.
Where is Ken Michaud? Where are his “chinese investors”. What does the Town of Midland know about this deal that appears to be as bad or worse than it first appeared when we reported on it last. Is the town trying to save face with our “missing in action” developer? When are they going to come clean on what they know, when they knew it and what they are planning to do about this mess?
With our council’s history of secrecy, in-camera meetings (for which they were just scolded again by the Ombudsman) and lack of transparency – they hate groups like ours poking our nose into these affairs, it may take some time until they come up with a version of the truth, sanitized for public consumption, finally revealing how bad this mess is and what it is going to cost to pull out of the deal, get it out for tender from a reputable and well-funded developer, or see that Consar delivers and gets this jewel of Midland’s waterfront project back on track.
Lead photo source: Dallas Morin