Sav­ing a bit of his­tory

Com­mit­tee formed to ad­dress fu­ture of wharf at Chan­nel Head light­house

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - EDITORIAL -

A new group has been formed to lead ef­forts to en­sure fu­ture ac­cess to the Chan­nel Head light­house.

Scott Strick­land said the Chan­nel Head Light­house Her­itage So­ci­ety came to­gether af­ter a pub­lic meet­ing April 11.

The meet­ing was called by Port aux Basques coun­cil to dis­cuss the fu­ture of the wharf and walk­way on the is­land. The De­part­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans is plan­ning to de­mol­ish the wharf, which it has deemed un­safe.

Strick­land said the new group will try to get an in­de­pen­dent in­spec­tion of the wharf com­pleted.

“From there, we will take steps to try to have the wharf re­paired or re­placed in some fash­ion that will be suitable and safe for use by the gen­eral pub­lic,” he said in an email.

Strick­land said the group will also push Parks Canada to deem the site pro­tected un­der the Her­itage Light­house Pro­tec­tion Act. The light­house it­self was des­ig­nated a her­itage build­ing in 1988.

Strick­land told coun­cil­lors in March los­ing the wharf would mean the pub­lic would no longer have ac­cess to the is­land. He said DFO doesn’t need the wharf and ac­cesses the site by he­li­copter.

“It’s tragic that the DFO has bud­geted nearly $200,000 to de­mol­ish a wharf and walk­way that, in my per­sonal opin­ion, could cer­tainly be left as is for at least the time be­ing,” Strick­land said in his email.

While the meet­ing was not well-at­tended, with only a half­dozen peo­ple who were not town em­ploy­ees or coun­cil­lors, Strick­land said the sup­port re­ceived so far has been ex­cel­lent.

Dur­ing the April 11 meet­ing, act­ing Mayor Todd Strick­land said DFO was will­ing to work with the town or an­other group. He said the town could end up tak­ing own­er­ship of the prop­erty in the short term, but it would de­pend on the cost and li­a­bil­ity.

Town man­ager Barry Spencer said a prop­erty man­ager from DFO told the town the wharf would have to be de­mol­ished be­fore the prop­erty could be turned over.

BRYAN TAIT PHOTO

Port aux Basques town man­ager Barry Spencer, Scott Strick­land and act­ing Mayor Todd Strick­land were at a pub­lic meet­ing April 11 to an­swer ques­tions about the fu­ture of the wharf at the Chan­nel Head light­house.

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