A portion of $50 million is being launched at small craft harbours in Prince Rupert, Port Edward, and Haida Gwaii areas for infrastructure enhancements, the Ministry of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard announced, on Aug. 10.
Keri Dybhavn, general manager of the Port Edward Harbour Authority, told The Northern View they are a unique, non-profit organization managing three harbours in Prince Rupert, as well as the Port Edward Harbour waterfront with over 1900 to 2100 vessels using the facilities annually.
“This [$11 million] investment will be used to provide significant repairs or inspections in three of our four harbours, Port Edward, Rushbrook, and Fairview,” Dybhavn said.
Port Edward will be able to complete the concrete wharf, install the electrical services in the dry dock area, redeck the outside north finger, inspect the flotation on the gillnet dock and demolish wharf 600. Rushbrook will receive some much need repairs, new tie-up rails, decking, and pile well enforcement.
“Fairview homes most of our large boats and it is essential that the breakwater is fully operational. The funding will be used for inspection and disposal of the retired breakwater,” Dybhavn said. “These repairs will provide a much needed off-loading area, extend the dry dock area and provide safe and accessible moorage for our customers.”
“Our fishing industry is evolving. The needs of our customers are changing and the federal government is investing in the future of our fishing fleet,” the harbour manager said.
Additional funding of $22 million will support other small craft harbours in B.C. including repairs to deteriorating mooring bouys to ensure boater’s safety in the Oona River. As well, Port Clements in Haida Gwaii will receive wharf and float reconstruction, and Queen Charlotte will benefit from breakwater mooring repairs.
“These infrastructure projects will help ensure that this important northern British Columbia fishing hub continues to serve the loading, moorage, and offloading needs of Pacific commercial and Indigenous fishing fleets,” the ministry stated in its announcement.
“Small craft harbours are the heart of Canada’s coastal communities. They’re places of gathering, hubs of recreation and industry, and they’re essential to Canada’s growing blue economy. That’s why our government is investing $300 million to make our harbours greener, safer, and more efficient,” Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, said. “We’ll always support the women and men of our fisheries, tourism sectors, and construction industries, and the coastal and rural communities that depend on Canada’s small craft harbours.”
The federal funding from the 2021 budget is just less than $90 million and will assist 26 small craft harbour communities along the B.C coast from the Small Craft Harbours Program, with $70 million being directed at projects for repairs, maintenance, construction, and dredging at harbours.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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