Does Community Oppose The Change?
An ad hoc group led by Michelle Corfield is attempting to get enough public support to block the intended changes which will come to the inner harbour should the deal with a private company come to pass.
Primarily this group has a commercial interest in being able to use the harbour for their businesses which obviously could be impacted seriously by the change. As a group they have been relatively quiet since this was first announced last year not apparently being involved with the 'harbour blockade' last summer, nor adding their voice to the PINA's presentations to city council.
Based on the typical, apathetic response from Nanaimo residents (who don't have a boat in the harbour), combined with the support of the local media (this blog excluded), the business community and politicians at all levels, it would seem that with the exception of a few hundred people, Nanaimo residents really don't give a rip what happens.
It has been reported in the local daily that the NPA has been charging users about 30% of 'market rate' for moorage which is one reason they claim unable to fund the needed upgrades to the boat basin moorage. The article did not explain why the brain trust at the NPA felt is needed to charge such low, low rates in the first place. If this is an example of the business acumen of the guys and gals running the port, it is little wonder they had to give the harbour away to a private company to upgrade.
Turning the downtown waterfront into a parking lot for sterile, expensive white yachts and displacing the working boats in the harbour, will forever change the flavour of our waterfront. It seems the powers that be (if there are any beside NPA) seem to think it is a good idea.
The fact that the NPA has been unable to manage the affairs of the monopoly that is the business of the harbour waterfront in such a fashion as to be able to fund needed upgrades is not the least bit comforting.
Aside from Mr. Dumas who are these phantom board members who are conspicuously absent from this discussion.