In the way

Many agree on the re­moval of Vardy’s Is­land

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - NEWS - BY CHANTELLE MACISAAC

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.

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