Basin issue needs two-way communication
To the Editor,
When the Nanaimo Port Authority states it has held public consultation with the community and various interest groups, it implies there have been publicized public meetings organized by the port authority which have invited consultation.
Some people may consider the port’s initial presentation of the plan, its presentation at a city council meeting six months later, and the marina group’s information centre, to be public consultation. They were open to the public.
Meetings with Protection Islanders, fishermen and the Underwater Harvesters Association were not open to the general public. Those meetings have yielded nothing yet to ease stakeholder concerns.
On the other hand, the meeting organized by citizens opposing the port authority’s plan – held at the Coast Bastion on Jan. 7 – was publicized in the newspapers in advance and open to everyone.
The port/Pacific Northwest Marina Group’s latest proposition made to boat owners wanting six-metre slips is prohibitive.
To offer inclusion at the price of five years of moorage paid all at once and to say that “if these spaces are not filled, the design will be modified accordingly” puts small boat owners in a position of having to pay somewhere in the range of $15,000 up front to guarantee their access to the marina.
The new plan invites fishermen to pay for a designated loading area – something they have already paid for in the present marina. Plans for alternative unloading facility – or if there will be one available at all – are ambiguous.
In the interest of maintaining the public trust, and in creating a better plan, it is time the port authority and the marina group seriously considered two-way communication with concerned citizens.