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Farmer Frank Meyers still fighting over land for CFB Trenton expansion

Frank Meyers says he’s still bitter that the Canadian military took away the farm that had been in his family for 220 years. Photo By Lindsey Harren, QNet News

By Lindsey Harren [1]

TRENTON – Four years later, Trenton resident Frank Meyers is still fighting to get his land back from Canadian Forces Base Trenton.

The 90-year-old hosted a rally on Monday to raise awareness about how his 230-acre farm was expropriated for a training centre for the elite Joint Task Force 2 Unit of the Canadian military.

But there were more reporters than supporters at the rally, which took place at his farmhouse – on the small piece of property he still owns after the expropriation – on Meyers Creek Road.

Construction has not begun on the JTF2 training centre. It was initially supposed to be open by 2019.

“The support is all right and everything, but the military is not going to do anything,” Meyers said. “They are just going to keep doing what they have been doing. The military is free to do whatever they want no matter where it is.”

The deal is still bitter, partly because his family has been on the land for 220 years, he said.

In 2014, QNet News [2] was at the farm [3] leading up to the demolition [4] of his barns. Meyers said at the time that he had been given an ultimatum by the government. He was told to sign and receive compensation, or have his property seized.

He has still not cashed the cheque he received for the land, he said. At the time of the expropriation, Meyers told QNet News that the cheque was for millions of dollars, but on Monday he said he’s never opened the envelope and he doesn’t have it any more. It’s with lawyers in Toronto, he said.

Lorie Tannahill, who looks after social media and organizing as Meyers continues his fight said that as a farmer herself, she can’t imagine what it is like for Meyers to see his whole life’s work gone.

“The government continuously expropriates and lets farms go back to regular nature state, or dumps rock on them. This is where people’s food comes from, and I don’t know if they see that,” she said.

For now, Meyers watches from his window as the military continued to dump truckloads of rocks on the land he once owned. The rocks make him angry because the property was prime farmland, he said.

He remains adamant that the government should give the land back because it’s not using it.

Andrew McKelvey, a spokesman for the Department of National Defence in Ottawa, told QNet News that there are no updates on the CFB Trenton expansion project.  It is currently in the design phase, he said.

“Due to the complexity of the project, the scope of the project continues to be developed to meet minimum operation requirements,” McKelvey said.