Port Stanley harbour divestiture deal ‘provides everything we need’

Fishing tugs in Port Stanley harbour

News Release : September 8, 2010
Mayor Tom Marks says it’s time to believe in Port Stanley’s future

The transfer of Port Stanley Harbour lands to Central Elgin sets the stage for the village to become a premier upscale tourist destination, Mayor Tom Marks said today.

“We have a magnificent opportunity to develop the harbour properties in a way that guides economic development both in the community and in the municipality as a whole,” he said at a ceremony marking the land transfer from Transport Canada along with funding from the
federal government in the amount of $13,635,118.

He said the money, the harbour lands and the community’s support will re-ignite tourism and become a catalyst for economic development. It will also bring the community closer together.

“There are really no limitations on what we can do, save for the limitation of our collective imagination and effort. What we need is the community to believe in itself.”

Marks said that for the first time the municipality has the power and financial means to direct the future of the harbour lands.

“We have enough money to keep the harbour open to recreational craft. We have enough to develop the East Berm into a place for families to visit and enough to maintain existing breakwaters and extend the west pier.”

Transport Canada financing will also be used to manage the harbour but there are some things that budget can’t afford such as building a new Stork Club and a marina.

“That’s where we need the community to believe in itself, to be creative, to reinvest in itself.”

He said the Harbour Divestiture Steering Committee, headed by Deputy Mayor Dave Marr, negotiated the best deal that could have been achieved.

“It may not have been everything that everyone wanted but it is what we needed. It’s enough to make the harbour lands an
asset for community development without becoming a burden on the taxpayer. That was our goal from the beginning. That has been accomplished,” the mayor said.

He also paid tribute to past mayors Sylvia Hofhuis and Dave Rock who dedicated themselves to this project.

He said another great outcome of the negotiations is Transport Canada’s commitment to remediate the berm area for parkland uses.

“On the environmental front, no community that has taken over its port has ended up with a better result.”

For further information, please contact:
Mayor Tom Marks Donald Leitch, Chief Administrative Officer
Phone: 519 631-8213 Phone 519-631-4860 Ext 276

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