In the way
Many agree on the removal of Vardy’s Island
The topic arose during the latest Port aux Basques town council meeting, but the economic development committee is not the only one talking about removing Vardy’s Island.
Former mayor Rod Keeping said the discussion around the topic has been taking place for many years and the biggest benefactor of the removal project would be Marine Atlantic.
“The most important longterm gains for the ice-free port would be the improved movement of goods and people, to and from the province,” said Keeping.
He feels the project would enhance the harbour for better movement of vessels, especially during times of severe weather conditions.
“Not only would it benefit the corporation, but also the oil tanks, seasonal salt boats, fishing vessels and seasonal yacht’s related to tourism,” said Keeping.
He also said the removal of the island should create jobs and beneficial spin-offs for the area.
Shauna Strickland, the town’s economic strategist, said the committee hopes to set up a meeting with MP Gudie Hutchings to further discuss the issue.
Marine Atlantic agrees with the removal of the island as well. Spokesperson Darrell Mercer said the presence of Vardy’s Island heightens the influence of the operational team, who make the final decisions on when to sail by evaluating environmental conditions.
“Maneuvering, docking and undocking process becomes more challenging,” said Mercer.
He said when considering the environmental factors, the removal of the island would enhance the navigational characteristics of the harbour and remove one of the operational risks the company faces.