Ewan Moir is the new chief executive officer of Nanaimo Port Authority. TAMARA CUNNINGHAM/NEWS BULLETIN

Ewan Moir is the new chief executive officer of Nanaimo Port Authority. TAMARA CUNNINGHAM/NEWS BULLETIN

Nanaimo Port Authority wants to listen and learn

Ewan Moir, president and CEO, plans to meet with city, Nanaimo Marina Association and Snuneymuxw

Nanaimo Port Authority’s new chief executive officer plans to be all ears as he spends time in the community.

“I’m going out to listen to learn,” said president and CEO Ewan Moir.

Moir took the helm of the NPA on Oct. 10, taking over from Bernie Dumas, who announced his retirement earlier this year.

The port’s new boss grew up in Helensburgh, on the coast of Scotland, and got his start with British Petroleum. He was with BP Shipping, joined the Merchant Navy and worked as a marine engineer on tankers and off-shore vessels in the North Sea.

He left the deep sea when he married his wife and gave up the sea altogether when she became pregnant. He started to work for Ulstein U.K. in the marine ship building support industry in 1988.

Moir is now nearing the end of his career.

“I started out in the Merchant Navy, I started out with ships and I really like the idea of finishing my career with ships; I thought would be really nice,” said Moir of taking the position.

He also likes the idea of working with a team, the community and hopefully leaving a stamp in Nanaimo that’s as successful for the city, region and mid Island as his work has been for private companies.

“I’d like to leave the port fitting nicely with the city, with the right businesses in place which are good for the city and the economy of the city, and are a fit with the region here, which I think is fantastic,” he said.

Moir has been spending a lot of time with people outside the port authority and wants to hear the community’s perception of the port. Among those he’d like to speak with are the Nanaimo Marina Association, Snuneymuxw First Nation and City of Nanaimo. The trio are involved in an effort to look at a new harbour governance model.

“It would be silly not to be concerned, but at the end of the day I’d like to understand why,” said Moir, adding from the ‘whys,’ the port can consider whether it should look at doing some things a little differently.

Moir said the relationships between the port and city at the higher levels, including with long-term planning, aren’t working the way they should. He said he has to address it and “it’s very important.”

Business diversification is also important for the new CEO, who notes there’s been a period when that hasn’t happened fast enough at the Nanaimo Assembly Wharf. What goes on the lands has to fit with the local community and it’s important the port brings in the right type of businesses, said Moir, who is looking for those with an environmental aspect and that want to be a long-term community member.

“We are working with some projects for this particular property that fit most of that really quite nicely,” he said.

Cruise business hasn’t reached the heights hoped with nine large and small vessels on the schedule to visit this year. The model had been for 20-25, according to Moir, who said the port has a big part to play in getting those vessels but isn’t the sole player. The big picture of tourism for Nanaimo and Central Vancouver Island is part of a cruise ship model, he said.

But in 2019, Moir is already guaranteeing this city will lose ships as a result of a letter he’s heard has been sent to one or more cruise lines that the dock is unsafe. He did not know who sent the letter or when, but said it’s gone out to various cruise and the port is getting comments back, like “I’m not so sure we can come to your facility.” The dock opened in 2011, and he said anyone who thinks it’s falling over tomorrow either believes it’s of aluminum, poorly designed or poorly constructed and he can assure that’s not the case.

A passenger ferry service in the works for the waterfront but Moir isn’t sure the timing of the new business. Island Ferries has responded to an expression of interest for the Vancouver SeaBus terminal and he said he’s not sure how long it will take for TransLink to make a decision on a proponent.

“Until that piece of the puzzle is put in place, the project will sit exactly where it is,” he said.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Capt. Alan Millbank, head of Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s Fire and Loss Prevention Division, takes photos of the scene of a blaze that heavily damaged two apartments on Wakesiah Avenue on Sunday, April 18. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
RCMP, Nanaimo Fire Rescue investigating suspicious apartment blaze

Fire destroyed ground-floor apartment, spread to second storey at Wakesiah Avenue complex

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations with RV hook-ups

Nanaimo RCMP hope the public can help them find a 16-year-old who has been missing since Sunday. (Photo submitted)
UPDATE: 16-year-old Nanaimo boy located safe

Teen had been reported missing last week and it was thought he may have left town

The Regional District of Nanaimo plans to make its operations more efficient as it works on long-term goals around carbon-neutrality. (PQB News file photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo works to become carbon neutral by 2032

RDN committee of the whole members endorse plan developed by consultant

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Most Read