Nanaimo Marina Association takes lease rate dispute to federal government

NANAIMO - Nanaimo Port Authority and waterfront businesses battle over rising water lease fees.

Nanaimo Marina Association has presented a letter of complaint to Transport Canada and senior government officials to promote transferring properties managed by the port authority to provincial or municipal jurisdiction.

The letter, presented last week by spokesman Odai Sirri, is the latest volley in the dispute between the marina association, representing a group of waterfront business operators, and the Nanaimo Port Authority over rising foreshore lease rates, which Sirri said, are financially crippling marina owners.

“We filed our letter of complaint … and they’re aware of the controversy and situation, the urgent need for attention and we’ll be getting a response from them soon on next steps,” Sirri said.

Last week the Nanaimo Yacht Club also announced its support for the marina association.

“I would join the association too if I thought I had the opportunity to get a better deal, so I would think they’re rallying together because the more members they have the stronger it is,“ said Bernie Dumas, Nanaimo Port Authority president and CEO, who has promised to work with businesses operating on waterfront properties under port authority jurisdiction to find a workable solution.

Dumas said new fees won’t be established until late 2017, the port authority is consulting with ports on the Island and elsewhere, several businesses have already renewed lease contracts and most of Nanaimo’s marinas are operating at full capacity.

Dumas said the port authority has established lease fees the same way since the 1970s without issue until property values skyrocketed in recent years, adding there might even be fee reductions from the 2017 evaluation.

“We’re not going to be able to say to you today what that’s going to be, but we’re going to try and make it work,” he said. “Transport Canada’s trying to stay out of it. They do have a role to play and we will be talking to them about it because we just do not have the right to do what we want.”

According to Transport Canada, Canadian port authorities are solely responsible for how property market values are assessed to establish lease fees.

“The method of establishing and applying fair market value is the port authority’s responsibility and is not directed by Transport Canada,” said Mélanie Lalonde, Transport Canada spokeswoman in an e-mail.

Just Posted

Teacher says student was ‘happy’ to watch smudging ceremony at Vancouver Island school

B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo hearing case over indigenous cultural practice in Alberni classroom

Four arrested after report of shots fired in Nanaimo

RCMP arrest four suspects in high-risk takedown in Cedar

Talks between Western Forest Products and union break down

No more negotiations imminent between United Steelworkers 1-1937 and company

City of Nanaimo to issue alert as it moves to new emergency information system

Municipality will send out reminder Thursday, Nov. 21, asking residents to switch to new system

Front Street becomes permanent location for bus exchange

Nanaimo city council will look at safety upgrades, will work with RDN on design

B.C. politicians view supermodel’s transition journey on Transgender Day

Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite and New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert appear in the documentary

John Mann, singer and songwriter of group Spirit of the West dead at 57

Mann died peacefully in Vancouver on Wednesday from early onset Alzheimer’s

VIDEO: B.C. high school’s turf closed indefinitely as plastic blades pollute waterway

Greater Victoria resident stumbles on plastic contamination from Oak Bay High

B.C. mayor urges premier to tweak road speeds in an ‘epidemic of road crash fatalities’

Haynes cites ICBC and provincial documents in letter to John Horgan

South Cariboo Driver hits four cows due to fog

The RCMP’s investigation is ongoing

B.C. won’t appeal decision protecting ICBC court experts

Change to evidence rules next to save money, David Eby says

1898 Yukon gold rush photo featuring Greta Thunberg look-alike sends internet into tailspin

Jokes erupted this week after a 120-year-old photo taken by Eric A. Hegg surfaced from archives

BC Ferries’ two new hybrid vessels set sail for B.C. from Romania

Two Island Class ferries to be in use by 2020

Distracted driving tickets not for ICBC revenue, B.C. minister says

Minister Mike Farnworth calls SenseBC analysis ‘nonsense’

Most Read