Tall ships re­port ‘an in­sult’

Lo­cal or­ga­niz­ers of Bath por­tion of Ren­dez-Vous 2017 re­fute town­ship’s ‘neg­a­tive’ re­port

Kingston Whig-Standard - - FRONT PAGE - EL­LIOT FER­GU­SON

The lo­cal or­ga­niz­ers of the Ren­dez-Vous 2017 tall ships event in Bath in early July replied to a damn­ing re­port from Loy­al­ist Town­ship with a broad­side of their own Wed­nes­day.

In an email to the Whig- Stan­dard, Wil­liam Kel­ley Hine­man, pres­i­dent of the Fair­field- Gutzeit So­ci­ety, the group that or­ga­nized the event that was part of the RDV2017 guest port pro­gram that saw tall ships stop in more than 30 Cana­dian ports, said the town­ship’s con­cerns were un­founded

On Mon­day, a re­port from Loy­al­ist chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer Bob Mad­docks laid out a se­ries of prob­lems he saw with the July 7-9 event, in­clud­ing a lack of se­cu­rity and med­i­cal sup­port, and a po­ten­tial in­ter­fer­ence with the Bath wa­ter treat­ment plant.

Hine­man said the town­ship’s con­cerns re­flected an on­go­ing ad­ver­sar­ial re­la­tion­ship be­tween the so­ci­ety and the town­ship.

“The neg­a­tive as­pect of the staff’s re­port is an in­sult,” he said, adding that it could the ba­sis for le­gal ac­tion.

Hine­man said the town­ship’s wa­ter sup­ply was never in any dan­ger.

No fuel was al­lowed on the docks and no plea­sure boats or per­sonal wa­ter­craft were al­lowed into the area around the wa­ter in­take be­cause it was a se­cure area.

Town­ship staff had ac­cess to the wa­ter treat­ment plant through­out the week­end, he said.

If any­thing put the town­ship’s drink­ing wa­ter in jeop­ardy, Hine­man said, it is the fact that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity has not acted on the ad­vice of a con­sul­tant’s re­port that rec­om­mended mov­ing the in­take fur­ther out into the lake.

“The event put Loy­al­ist Town­ship on the world map as it was the third-largest and most com­pli­mented RDV2017 event in Canada out of 30-plus Cana­dian ports,” he said.

“The event brought in over $4 mil­lion in eco­nomic spinoff to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.”

Hine­man said the event was well con­trolled, with more than 40 trained vol­un­teers, com­mis­sion­aires and OPP at the event to deal with the 36,000 peo­ple who at­tended.

So­ci­ety board mem­ber Amanda Camp­bell-Fasken, who op­er­ated the beer gar­den, echoed Hine­man’s com­ments about al­co­hol at the event.

“I was in charge of the beer gar­den and can tes­tify that there were no vi­o­la­tions,” she said. “We were even in­spected by a liquor con­trol of­fi­cer on the Fri­day night.”

St. John Am­bu­lance was hired to pro­vide med­i­cal sup­port for the event but had to can­cel at the last minute due to staffing is­sues, Hine­man said.

Groups that worked with the so­ci­ety also backed up the so­ci­ety.

Dou­glas Prothero, chair of Sail Train­ing In­ter­na­tional’s RDV 2017, called the find­ings in the town­ship’s re­port “petty smalltown pol­i­tics” and of­fered the event a glow­ing ref­er­ence.

The Bath event “set an ex­am­ple of how a small com­mu­nity could bat above its weight and de­liver an in­cred­i­ble and last­ing Canada 150 mem­ory for res­i­dents and visi­tors alike,” he said.

Prothero said the Bath or­ga­niz­ers were “in­cred­i­bly pro­fes­sional” and “in­spir­ing” in build­ing a sea­port where none ex­isted.

“You had chal­lenges but you just got on with the job, and from my per­spec­tive you knocked it out of the park,” he said.

“Any­one who sug­gests oth­er­wise has an axe to grind.”

While he de­clined to com­ment about the town­ship’s re­port, Lt. Cmdr. Tony Mul­lan of HMCS Cataraqui said the tall ships event was well run.

“I can say that from our per­spec­tive, the Bath Tall Ships was a suc­cess. It was well laid out and or­ga­nized,” he said.

“Given the record high wa­ter lev­els on Lake On­tario then, you had some chal­lenges that you over­came well.”

The navy was called on to re­spond to a boat that cap­sized dur­ing a tor­ren­tial down­pour that passed through the area on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

The dif­fer­ing opin­ions on the or­ga­ni­za­tion of the event is the lat­est dis­pute be­tween the Fair­field-Gutzeit So­ci­ety and Loy­al­ist Town­ship.

The two are in the midst of a le­gal dis­pute over the own­er­ship of two build­ings in Bath.

Hine­man said the town­ship’s only con­tri­bu­tion to the tall ship’s event was the re­moval of one truck­load of garbage.

“I per­son­ally be­lieve it is time for a change in the lo­cal gov­ern­ments rep­re­sen­ta­tion and a purg­ing of staff who put for­ward this neg­a­tive at­ti­tude,” he said.

“I will also be ac­tively form­ing a group of con­cerned cit­i­zens to change the ex­ist­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tion on coun­cil in or­der to weed out the staff mem­bers who are part of the prob­lem.”

STEPH CROSIER/THE WHIG-STAN­DARD

The tall ships Fair Jeanne, TS Play­fair, Mist of Avalon and Em­pire Sandy were among the ships an­chored off Bath from July 7-9 for Ren­dez-Vous 2017, in cel­e­bra­tion of Canada 150.

STEPH CROSIER/THE WHIG-STAN­DARD

Thou­sands of peo­ple took tours of the tall ships as Ren­dez-Vous 2017 stopped in Bath from July 7-9.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.