Harbour associations steer into Nanaimo for conference

Harbour Authority representatives steered into Nanaimo last week to discuss issues facing the industry.

The Harbour Authority Association of BC. Conference attracted 109 delegates from Vancouver Island and B.C. coastal communities. The majority of issues discussed revolved around small craft harbours, but addressing changing regulations, issues of liability and creating and sharing plans for future economic growth were also on the table.

David Mailloux, Nanaimo Port Authority spokesman, said although discussion on small craft harbours doesn’t apply to Nanaimo, there were other benefits from attending, such as showcasing what’s working in Nanaimo and sharing best practices between organizations.

The Nanaimo Port Authority is a federal agency mandated to administer, control, manage and protect navigation and safety in Nanaimo Harbour.

“It’s a great opportunity to learn from each other, said Mailloux.

Changing regulations and issues of liability are issues that affect all ports, said Art Childs, president of the Harbour Association of B.C. All harbour facilities have a significant public presence, especially during tourist season, and operators must be aware of insurance and liability issues.

The conference has been in Nanaimo for three consecutive years and marked the first conference of the year for the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

Denise Tacon, VICC general manager , said there are 18 confirmed bookings this year, 19 were booked last year and nine in 2009. Conference delegations are separate from local event bookings.

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