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CANADA gives Uganda permission to construct new high commission

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The old building at 231 Cobourg Street in Ottawa. Photo/Google Street View

NEW VISION – The Ottawa city council in Canada has issued a permit for the construction of Uganda’s new high commission.

Last month, the same council approved the demolition of a dilapidated building owned by Uganda’s high commission, to pave way for the construction of a new one.

The construction had stalled for 10 years, after some members of the planning committee opposed the demolition of the building, saying razing the structure was detrimental to the history of Ottawa.

In a new development however, Joy Ruth Achenge, Uganda’s high commissioner to Canada, told New Vision that the city council had last week issued a certificate of construction to the high commission.

“We now have a certificate of demolition and construction, it is a very big achievement and it was not easy to attain. We shall start construction in October when our design is approved,” Achenge said.

According to the permit notice seen by New Vision, the high commission in Ottawa was asked to construct a new building at 231 Cobourg Street, following the architecture plan submitted by Ten 2 Four Architecture Inc, the contractor of the project.

The former Uganda high commission building located on the same street, is a two-storey red brick building, constructed in the 1940s as an apartment building.

It became Uganda’s high commission in 1985, owned by the Ugandan government. In 2014, it was abandoned because it was deemed unsafe.

Achenge noted that the Government had okayed $4m (sh14.86b) for the construction of the new building.

“The construction works are set to start in October and it is estimated to take us between nine to twelve months,” she said.

The building which is considered historical, was once home to Lester B. Pearson, the former prime minister of Canada, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for organising the United Nations Emergency Force to resolve the Suez Canal crisis.

Describing the issuance of the permit as a milestone for the Ugandan high commission, Achenge commended the foreign affairs ministry for the fight to have the building razed down for a new one.

She also expressed gratitude to the Ottawa city council for accepting Uganda’s appeal for the demolition of the building and final issuance of the permit.

Achenge was posted to Canada only in January this year. —— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: May 14, 2018 at 11:27AM

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