Nanaimo Port Authority hosted its first of what could be an ongoing series of open houses to engage with the public and port customers.
The event was hosted at the Port Theatre on Feb. 22.
“Basically we were going to use the format as a question-and-answer period kind of thing,” said David Mailloux, port authority director of communications. “Not as a town hall, exactly, but just so that people could meet some of the board members, our new CEO, Ewan Moir, and some of the staff … We wanted to let people know the range of things we do, what we work on and if they had specific questions on anything.”
Story boards were on display and information was available about the downtown marina revitalization project, harbour safety and security, environmental impacts and protection, port development and land use in and around Nanaimo Harbour.
Mailloux said there has been a lot of growth and development in the harbour area, including on Protection Island, plus shifts in the needs of user groups and in the user groups themselves, such as commercial fishers. There is also a revitalization of the downtown marina program underway.
“We’re doing a revitalization of the marina, there’s a user group that’s been put together and headed up by our chair Michelle Corfield, and so we’re doing a series of meetings. There’s been so much growth in the area … it’s time for us to take a temperature what’s going on with the users and get their feedback.”
Mailloux went on to say people have questions about ongoing development at Duke Point, the foot passenger ferry and land use around the Nanaimo Assembly Wharf. He also said many people don’t understand what the Port Authority’s mandate is or how money it takes in through user fees and taxes goes back into infrastructure.
About 300 people turned out for the event.
Nanaimo Port Authority is looking at doing two or three such events per year to keep people informed of its ongoing plans and projects and get public feedback.