Nanaimo port, city officials form committee to guide growth on waterfront

A joint committee of Port of Nanaimo and City of Nanaimo officials is being established to collaborate as major investment and activities are planned for the waterfront.

Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said “unprecedented” development, including new hotels and residential projects, is underway; he noted that Nanaimo is a major port on Vancouver Island and is close to Vancouver. “The pressures on us are going to grow because Vancouver can’t handle [the demand].

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“From the outside looking in, I think the port is well on track with an excellent board and staff who really are working hard with all the other staff of other organizations in town.

“There’s pretty solid agreement on how the port moves forward.”

The goal of the Oct. 17 protocol agreement, which updates one signed in 2004, is to collaboratively advance “shared opportunities, agreements and benefits.”

City and port officials are already talking, said Krog, adding it could eventually be a tripartite agreement that includes the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Under the new agreement the port and the city will each appoint two representatives, plus staff. The committee will meet a minimum of twice a year and possibly more often. The committee aims to work together on matters such as land use, economic opportunities, delivering services, tourism, recreation, communications and community plans.

Port Authority chairperson Donna Hais said earlier agreements between the two parties were more project-specific, while this five-page document is more about how to strengthen their relationship and work together as community partners. “It is all part of building a stronger, more unified Nanaimo.”

This past summer, the federal government announced it’s putting $46.2 million into Duke Point Terminal, south of Nanaimo and part of the Port Authority’s lands, to increase the ability to move Canadian goods to other countries.

As well, the Port Authority is planning to expand moorage by 50 per cent at Nanaimo’s downtown boat basin marina. A new $18-million vehicle processing centre opened at the port this year.

In an example of collaboration, a multi-partnership effort is underway to support Tribal Journeys 2020, being hosted by Snuneymuxw First Nation from July 27 to Aug. 1.

International visitors will be coming to Nanaimo with traditional canoes to celebrate Indigenous culture.

The City of Nanaimo, the Regional District of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island University, School District 68, the Nanaimo Port Authority, Tourism Vancouver Island, the Nanaimo Hospitality Association, the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre and Kw’umut Lelum are all working with Snuneymuxw First Nation to prepare for the event.

cjwilson@timescolonist.com

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