Cruise Ship Berth in Jeopardy

I really hope that this is only a temporary setback. I have been very excited by what the prospects of a cruise ship berth will mean for the continued revitalization on Nanaimo’s downtown. Here is the article from a local newspaper.

Ryan Coffey

Nanaimo scraps cruise-ship terminal plans

The Nanaimo Port Authority has suspended a $22-million floating cruise-ship terminal project because it has not received the federal environmental assessment permits required to proceed with tender and construction.

“It’s with a profound sense of disappointment that we’ve been forced to make the decision to suspend this project that’s been six years in the planning,” board chairman Bob Bennie said in a press release this week.

The cruise-ship terminal project was announced in August 2009 when the port authority was successful in securing $8.5 million of federal stimulus funding. The agreement required that the money be spent and the terminal completed by March 31, 2011.

Bennie said that tenders have to be called “without further delay” in order for construction of the terminal to be completed within the 2011 federal deadline.

The environmental assessment requires approvals from three federal ministries (environment, fisheries and transportation) in consultation with Snuneymuxw First Nation.

For the past six years the port authority has been working with the Snuneymuxw and, in 2007, together signed a protocol agreement to guide collaborative relationships for projects such as the cruise ship terminal and future projects.

Since 2006, the port authority has committed $5 million of its own funds for the project, secured $5 million from the provincial government, and obtained funding commitments of $3.5 million from the Island Coastal Economic Trust and $8.5 million from the federal government.

The original plan for a fixed dock at the Assembly Wharf was changed to a floating dock because it meant a substantial reduction in the dredging requirements.

The design incorporated a 300-metre-long floating dock to accommodate the largest cruise ships to ply the west coast and would have accommodated 30 to 40 large cruise-ship visits a season, compared to eight in 2009.

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