Wait­ing on the wa­ter­front

Seaway News - - Opinion - NICK Seebruch ni­cholas.seebruch@tc.tc

The City of Corn­wall heard a pre­sen­ta­tion on Mon­day night how the Fed­eral gov­ern­ment plans to di­vest it­self of all of its wa­ter­front land in Corn­wall by the year 2020.

The lands are cur­rently owned by Trans­port Canada, who will be hand­ing them over to the Cana­dian Land Cor­po­ra­tion, a Cana­dian Crown Cor­po­ra­tion who will de­cide the best way to sell them. The City will not be of­fered first right of re­fusal, but the lands will be sub­ject to mu­nic­i­pal by-laws once they come up for sale.

Sud­denly a world of pos­si­bil­i­ties has fallen into Corn­wall’s lap and the role of the Wa­ter­front Com­mit­tee is go­ing to be more im­por­tant than ever.

Corn­wall City Council must lis­ten to the ad­vice pre­sented to them in the com­ing years from their Wa­ter­front Com­mit­tee and more im­por­tantly from the pub­lic.

What comes to mind is the saga from this time last year, when the pub­lic dis­cov­ered that a lo­cal de­vel­oper wanted to build on lands that over­lapped with some of the ball di­a­monds in Le­gion Park.

This de­vel­op­ment would have meant that the ball di­a­monds be moved and there were con­cerns from the pub­lic that the pub­lic view of the wa­ter­front would be blocked by con­dos for the wealthy.

The pub­lic came out strongly against the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment in Let­ters to the Ed­i­tor and there was a large and vo­cal fac­tion against the de­vel­op­ment that went to the PAC meet­ing on the is­sue.

That prospect was es­sen­tially killed when the Feds an­nounced they were not in­ter­ested in sell­ing that land last year. Now that things changed, that fight might rear its head again.

To avoid un­rest like that in the fu­ture, the pub­lic should be no­ti­fied about any dis­cussed de­vel­op­ment early and their feed­back should be heeded.

The op­por­tu­nity to pur­chase de­velop the wa­ter­front lands could be a key to this city’s growth for the next decade, but the com­mu­nity should have its say what that fu­ture will look like, and who it will be for.

What do you think should be done with the wa­ter­front lands? Email me a Let­ter to the Ed­i­tor at ni­cholas.seebruch@tc.tc

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