Like a walk of shame, the city released news of its official signing of documents for the turn over of Harbor lands to the City and Akwesasne from Transport Canada Thursday afternoon.
Many in Cornwall and Akwesasne are against the deal which was shrouded in secrecy and with no real public consultation in either community and with media essentially giving the city a free pass in stead of asking real questions which most likely would lead to some very scary answers.
From the City:
City, Akwesasne and Transport Canada officials sign Port divestiture agreement
Officials from the City of Cornwall, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and Transport Canada gathered at City Hall this morning to sign the necessary documents for the transfer of the Port of Cornwall.
The signing marks the culmination of numerous meetings and negotiation sessions over the past two years for the area known as the Port of Cornwall and the surrounding lands. Through the transfer, the City of Cornwall and Mohawk Council of Akwesasne will become co-owners of the Port lands.
The transfer is ownership is effective today. A joint entity, known as Cornwall Akwesasne Port Development Commission, has been established to oversee the management and long-term development of the Port under the umbrella of a co-owners’ agreement.
“The transfer of the Port of Cornwall signals a new era of cooperation and collaboration between our two communities,” said Cornwall Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy. “By taking ownership of the Port, we will collectively oversee the future use of a key piece of our waterfront.”
“This milestone in our partnership with the City of Cornwall and Transport Canada is a model for other Indigenous and non Indigenous Communities to strive towards. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners to create additional opportunities for both our communities,” added Akwesasne Grand Chief Abram Benedict.
A media event and community celebration is being planned for the near future at the Port of Cornwall site to formally announce the transfer.
From Transport Canada:
Building strong communities through local port ownership
June 30, 2016 – Cornwall, Ontario – Transport Canada
Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced the transfer of the Cornwall Port Facility to the City of Cornwall and the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. The transfer agreement includes a contribution of $5,326,457 from the Government of Canada to cover operational costs and to maintain the Port’s infrastructure.
The transferred port facility is located in the South Central area of the City of Cornwall on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River. This divested property totals 7.93 hectares and consists of an upland area located at the north shore of the St.Lawrence, as well as an adjoining waterlot. The Cornwall Port Facility also includes a wharf mainly used for commercial activities.
The Cornwall Port Facility is the final port to be divested under Transport Canada’s former Port Divestiture Program. Building on the success of this Program, the new Ports Asset Transfer Program was launched in April 2015 to facilitate the transfer of the remaining 50 port facilities in Transport Canada’s inventory to local interests.
With Friday being July 1st, Canada Day, issuing a late afternoon release before a long weekend certainly is not a vote of confidence in the deal.
What do you think dear CFN viewers? Would you like to rip up this secretive deal? Should the city have moved forward without a proper public consultation?