Why Lake Erie ferry plan didn’t work in Elgin County

Fishing tugs in Port Stanley harbour

Fishing tugs in Port Stanley harbour

Port Stanley was the first choice for a ferry proposal that landed this week in front of Norfolk council.

Seaport Management Corporation of Jarvis wooed the lakeside community in Elgin County for several years before turning its attention elsewhere. Seaport did so because Central Elgin council decided it didn’t want a ferry operator in its harbour.

Central Elgin has been waiting patiently for Transport Canada to turn over responsibility for the harbour to the municipality. That has yet to happen because major dredging is required, among other issues.

Yesterday, Port Stanley Coun. David Marr said the Seaport Management proposal came at a bad time. Central Elgin council wants to assume ownership of the harbour with a clean slate and take the time to examine proposals so that the facility is put to its highest and best use.

Central Elgin has asked the federal government to complete the transfer within a year. The municipality’s $100,000 business plan for the harbour makes no allowance for a ferry service.
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