The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce has always supported a timely resolution to the future of Oshawa Harbour and welcomed the news that the Government of Canada, the City of Oshawa and the Oshawa Harbour Commission have worked collaboratively to reach an agreement that is a “Win Win Win” for all parties and further that the Government of Canada is investing in major improvements to the Port of Oshawa that will boost the Port as an attraction for families and visitors and support new jobs and business opportunities in the region.
This current news of an additional $10 million along with announcement by Minister Flaherty last year of the $9.2 million in federal funding over two years for environmental assessments and remediation of harbour marina lands and the west wharf and the creation of a Canadian Port Authority (CPA) announced by the Minister Baird is a good start to rejuvenating Port Oshawa.
In a letter to Minister of Transport John Baird in 2009, the Chamber identified the environmental cleanup and future governance model of the harbour as two important priorities. It felt sufficient funds needed to be allocated for the environmental cleanup of the marina and caveated lands.
The Chamber believes Oshawa’s deep water harbour, 1 of only 18 in Canada, offers significant economic benefits to existing business and has the potential to attract new businesses to Durham Region. The Chamber supports industrial, recreational, commercial and residential uses at the port and over the past decade, has shared that position with numerous transport ministers.
The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation and Member of Parliament for Durham, along with Dr. Colin Carrie, Member of Parliament for Oshawa and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, Mayor John Gray of the City of Oshawa and Mr. Gary Valcour, chair of the Oshawa Harbour Commission made the announcement at an Information Session held on Friday, July 16, 2010.
“By investing in this important infrastructure project, our Government is revitalizing the Oshawa Harbour and creating jobs in Oshawa and Ontario,” said Minister Oda. “This project will lead the way for residents to enjoy the new, mixed-use vision for the waterfront.”
“This harbour area is an important economic and cultural asset that significantly contributes to the quality of life of the people of Oshawa and the Durham region,” said MP Carrie. “This contribution will make a new vision for the port a reality, and it will create jobs right here for families and businesses at a time when Canada’s economy is still fragile.”
The Government of Canada is investing $10.2 million to transfer the port’s industrial activities from the west wharf to the east wharf and for new fencing and landscaping to ensure people who use the city’s parks and nature trails are a safe distance from the port’s heavy industrial operations.
“After 40 years of political stagnation, the people of Oshawa can finally anticipate the rejuvenation of our waterfront,” stated Mayor Gray. “This announcement allows the City of Oshawa to move forward with our vision of developing a people-friendly waterfront that attracts new residential and commercial opportunities while respecting the operations of Port Oshawa.”
The announcement coincides with the successful completion of an agreement between the Government of Canada, the City of Oshawa and the Oshawa Harbour Commission on land-ownership issues. The agreement will create certainty for the city, the users and stakeholders of the Port of Oshawa, and achieve a balanced use for the Oshawa Harbour area. “We are extremely pleased with the successful completion of these negotiations,” said Mr. Valcour.
This agreement heralds a renaissance in the life of the Port and offers a strong message of federal government support for an industrial and mixed-use port in Oshawa providing current and prospective port users the certainty needed for continued growth and investment, which in turn means more jobs and greater prosperity for the citizens of Oshawa and the region
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the Crown is:
• offering to transfer certain port lands to the city for a nominal amount;
• providing $200,000 to the Oshawa Harbour Commission for landscaping and fencing to screen the public from port operations;
• contributing $10 million to the Oshawa Harbour Commission to facilitate the transfer of the more industrial uses from the west wharf to the east wharf;
• offering to return the marina lands to the city once environmental mitigation work is complete, and;
• acquiring certain city and Oshawa Harbour Commission lands, for a nominal amount, to be used for port purposes. All port lands will continue to be managed by the Oshawa Harbour Commission.
The Government of Canada, the City of Oshawa and the Oshawa Harbour Commission have worked collaboratively to reach this agreement that will allow all parties to achieve their shared and respective objectives while responding to local and regional needs for a revitalized harbour.
For full details on the agreement and for other information visit www.oshawa.ca/harbour.