Farm demolished to make way for top-secret commando unit

Jerome Lessard, The Intelligencer

, Last Updated: 7:45 PM ET

QUINTE WEST, Ont. - Frank Meyers' farm buildings are gone.

More than seven months after demolition crews were first expected to roll in at the 200-year-old farmland on Meyers Creek Road, just north of 8 Wing/CFB Trenton, Meyers and wife Marjorie saw what they and their family built being torn down Wednesday morning.

A strong military police presence could be seen in the area when The Intelligencer was first to witness a pair of excavators tearing Meyers' main barn apart just after 9 a.m.

The federal government concluded the expropriation of 227-acres of Meyers' farmland in May 2012. The property will become part of a massive 900-acre training facility and new home for Joint Task Force-2, the Canadian Forces’ top-secret commando unit.

The 85-year-old farmer had no idea demolition crews were demolishing what he had built until Marjorie asked a photographer what he was aiming at.

“What is going on sir? We had no idea they were going to be here this morning. Frank is in Belleville right now. There is nothing we can do,” she said with tears in her eyes.



Farm buildings being torn down Wednesday, May 28, 2014. (Jerome Lessard/QMI Agency)
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Maj. Renald Nelson, construction and engineering officer at the air base, was seen on the property with a group of military police officers. Public affairs officer at the air base, Capt. Bettina McCulloch-Drake, told The Intelligencer Nelson could not be reached directly for comments, but through the Department of National Defence headquarters in Ottawa.

By 11 a.m., four buildings had been flattened down. Frank witnessed his family's heritage slowly vanishing about 45 minutes later when he arrived home from Belleville.

“My own neighbour turned me in,” he said with emotion.

“Mayor (John) Williams is behind it all. They want war in this country. They don't care and have no use for the blue collar people. It'll come to an end. There will be no food. It's coming soon. When, I don't know.”

Belleville resident Heather Loft is a close friend of the Meyers'. She could not hold in her tears as Frank's barns were being taken down.

“It's so sad. I feel terrible for Frank and Marjorie,” she said. “I was talking to Lisa Gibson earlier (Gibson is a local activist who led the protest movement in support of Meyers) and she is broken up about it.”

Meyers' barns may be gone, but supporters and followers of the Facebook page 'Save Frank & Marjorie Meyers Farm' still have hope.

“We need to keep our voices heard so this travesty is not repeated,” supporters posted on the page Wednesday afternoon.

“Keep up the letters, the e-mails, the phone calls. Do not let this disappear from the news. It is not over because the government will do it again and again unless we make the changes happen.”


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