A town needs jobs

The Compass - - EDITORIAL -

Har­bour Grace has wit­nessed a lot of change over the years. On one side of the coin you have the work hap­pen­ing on a large patch of land for the new sta­dium. It’s a sub­stan­tial pro­ject and the big­gest in­vest­ment the town has re­ceived in quite some time.

You’ve also got the Adult Ad­dic­tions Treat­ment Cen­tre sched­uled to open later this year. That’s another ven­ture bring­ing jobs to the com­mu­nity.

But drive along Wa­ter Street and Har­vey Street and you’ll also no­tice plenty of empty build­ings. Cana­dian Tire moved to Car­bon­ear years ago, as did the lo­cal New­found­land Liquor Cor­po­ra­tion out­let. The Terra Nova Shoes plant shut down for good last year, re­sult­ing in a loss of dozens of jobs.

The town’s most re­cent pro­posal to en­cour­age the pri­vate sec­tor to take an in­ter­est in Har­bour Grace is quite some­thing. It’s look­ing to build a marine in­dus­trial park that would ex­pand the cur­rent marine ser­vice area by Beach Hill sev­eral hun­dred me­tres and cover an area that’s cur­rently just wa­ter.

The process to see this idea through to the end will be lengthy, and a part of that process comes this week in a meet­ing Thurs­day night to ad­dress changes to the mu­nic­i­pal plan. There, res­i­dents can of­fer their two cents.

There was al­ready some talk about the po­ten­tial im­pact on the ad­ja­cent reg­is­tered her­itage dis­trict. It’s in­ter­est­ing to have that is­sue come up con­sid­er­ing there’s a new town com­mit­tee in place ex­am­in­ing how to build fur­ther eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties through ini­tia­tives linked to the town’s con­sid­er­able her­itage as­sets.

No doubt this pro­ject will trans­form the view of the har­bour if it goes ahead. Peo­ple walk­ing through the her­itage dis­trict will not see the clear ocean. In­stead, they’ll see in­dus­try at work.

If this pro­ject doesn’t move for­ward, chances are it will be due to some­thing other than al­tered sight­lines. The town has com­mu­ni­ties on both sides of it mak­ing a push to at­tract new busi­nesses and pro­mote eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. It’s un­der­stand­able that Har­bour Grace doesn’t want to re­main com­pla­cent.

The jobs this in­dus­trial park would cre­ate are needed in the com­mu­nity. A trick­le­down ef­fect would un­doubt­edly help other busi­nesses too.

There’s an ob­vi­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact that needs to be looked at, and who knows what that could dredge up. But the her­itage dis­trict is prob­a­bly safe. The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment her­itage di­vi­sion does have a say in this, and if it sees an is­sue, it will hope­fully look out for the best in­ter­est of those with a stake in the town’s her­itage-based econ­omy.

If this pro­ject doesn’t move for­ward, chances are it will be due to some­thing other than al­tered sight­lines.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.