A few years back, it appeared that our local wharves were destined for closure. Fishing is the backbone of our community, we need our wharves. District 4 has 2 locations which house many of the fishers in the community. Fishing boats have increased in size and the commercial fisheries is also increasing. There is no room anywhere else for our fishers so we have to keep our local harbours open and in good condition.
Thankfully our municipality does not pay for these wharves but we can help, like highways we have no jurisdiction on what DFO does with our wharves. What we can do is work with the local communities to advocate for improvements. During the past 3 years, a group of local individuals got together and decided that major improvements could be made at the Port Maitland Wharf. With some work, our wharf could hold many more fishing boats and accept a variety of visiting watercraft in the summer. After consulting with an engineer and local fishers, they came up with a design to actually expand the harbour. While it is a long term plan, there were some short term goals that needed attention. A community meeting was held at the Fire Hall in Port Maitland and low and behold, DFO agreed to the immediate needs of the wharf. A significant improvement is an automated tide gate. This is phase one and there is much more to do. Many thanks to Derek Thomas and Marc Brophy for putting together the proposal. I have supported these gentlemen by communicating with DFO and would like the opportunity to continue the work that has been started.
“Patti responded to the needs of the Port Maitland fishing community by communicating with DFO and the Minister of Fisheries for improvements to the wharf. We worked collaboratively to successfully convince DFO to approve urgent repairs and an automatic tide gate.”
In Sandford, I worked with 3 levels of government to obtain funds for repairing the Drawbridge, an icon in the community. A group of community members are willing to volunteer to paint the bridge but unfortunately that has been put on hold due to Covid. The Harbour Authority is willing to supply the paint. Hopefully we can get it done next spring or summer.
If we all work together, we can get things done that will improve the district, municipality and region. Let’s open those doors to opportunities we might otherwise miss.
I was taught many years ago that if you don’’t ask, you don’t get so I am asking for your support in the upcoming election October 8-17th.
Photo courtesy of Marven Blenus, Port Maitland