MP says he’ll work with cruise op­er­a­tor

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY NANCY KING

The MP for Sydney-Vic­to­ria says he’s been in talks with federal of­fi­cials to en­sure an ex­pe­di­tion cruise com­pany look­ing to base its op­er­a­tions in Sydney will have ac­cess to nec­es­sary ser­vices lo­cally.

In for­mally mak­ing the an­nounce­ment of the in­ten­tion to base One Ocean Ex­pe­di­tions at the port of Sydney this week, CEO An­drew Prossin said im­proved in­fra­struc­ture and ac­cess to ser­vices such as cus­toms will be key to al­low­ing it to make full use of the port.

Mark Eyk­ing said he has spo­ken with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Trans­port Canada and Canada Bor­der Ser­vices Agency and he be­lieves they will be able to pro­vide ser­vices such as cus­toms, as de­mand and the ships’ sched­ules war­rant.

“I know there are a cou­ple of federal things that he needs me to help him with,” Eyk­ing said Tues­day. “I’ve been talk­ing to the two min­is­ters’ of­fices about that.

“Even though th­ese depart­ments’ re­gional head of­fices are in Halifax, they are more than oblig­ing to come down and help out and to ac­com­mo­date any­thing that we need to do.”

The han­dling of in­ter­na­tional garbage from its ships is also an is­sue that One Ocean Ex­pe­di­tions will have to deal with, Eyk­ing said.

“It’s plan­ning and mak­ing sure staff is around,” he said.

Prossin also said the com­pany ac­quired a new ship that will be named the RCGS Res­o­lute and will have Sydney as its home port be­gin­ning in Novem­ber 2018.

The nec­es­sary in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments will come with the $20 mil­lion sec­ond cruise ship berth to be con­structed at the port, Prossin said.

Prossin said be­cause of­fices are based in ar­eas such as Halifax, there is an in­cen­tive to do busi­ness there. By be­ing based in Sydney, Prossin said up to $6 mil­lion One Ocean cur­rently spends in the Halifax area on pro­vi­sions will be spent in the Sydney area.

Eyk­ing said he first spoke to Prossin a decade ago about the West­mount na­tive’s de­sire to base his com­pany’s ships in Cape Bre­ton.

“Now to see it hap­pen­ing af­ter 10 years, good on him and it’s great to see,” Eyk­ing said.

Prossin has said that the open­ing of a sec­ond berth at the port of Sydney sched­uled for next fall would al­low the com­pany to shift its op­er­a­tions there. The hope is that the sec­ond berth will have the ca­pac­ity for ships to take on fuel there.

In ad­di­tion to ex­pe­di­tion cruises, One Ocean also has port calls where they do plan­ning for Arc­tic and Antarc­tic op­er­a­tions, where the ships come into port twice a year to spend a hand­ful of days pre­par­ing to be at sea or in re­mote ports for ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time.

Fund­ing by the three lev­els of gov­ern­ment for the sec­ond cruise ship berth was an­nounced ear­lier this year.


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