Federal investments announced for Nova Scotia wharfs and harbours

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The Government of Canada is launching improvement projects at Nova Scotia fishing harbours in Antigonish, Guysborough, Inverness and Halifax counties to provide local fish harvesters with access to safer, more efficient facilities.

Peter MacKay, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Minister responsible for Nova Scotia, made the announcement on behalf of Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. "This work will ensure that these Nova Scotian harbours are in good operating condition for years to come," said MacKay. "This government understands that fish harvesters must have first-rate facilities to maintain their livelihood, and we support the strong role that harbours play in the economy of coastal communities like these."

A total of $1.6 million will go towards wharf improvement projects at Arisaig, Queensport and Sambro harbours, as well as dredging at Cheticamp and planning for Whitman's wharf along with repairs to the marginal wharf at Canso.

In addition, environmental protection measures will be implemented at Bay St. Lawrence, Pleasant Bay, Margaree and Bayfield harbours with the construction of waste oil buildings for the safe collection, storage and disposal of contaminants.

These projects will be implemented by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as part of its Small Craft Harbours Program, in cooperation with the local harbour authorities that manage and operate the facilities for the benefit of the local users. This close cooperation with clients allows the federal government to continue to provide an operable system of harbours and facilities throughout Canada in support of commercial fishers. "Our government understands the importance of harbours to communities across the country," added MacKay. "Since February 2006, the permanent annual funding for the Small Craft Harbours program has been increased by $20 million, and in Budget 2008 we committed a further investment of $10 million over two years for repairs and environmental cleanup at recreational and non-core fishing harbours to permit the transfer of these harbours to interested parties."

BACKGROUNDER

DETAILS OF PROJECTS AT NOVA SCOTIA SMALL CRAFT HARBOURS

Arisaig - Limited water depth and limited berthing, loading/off-loading capacity at Arisaig are hindering operations within the harbour. Project work will involve basin dredging and construction of a new, 21-metre extension to the marginal wharf which will enhance the loading/offloading functions as well as provide additional berthage. This work is now underway and is expected to be completed by late spring 2008.

Additional work at Arisaig includes installation of a new concrete deck on part of an existing marginal wharf as well as the installation of a new electrical system.

Canso - Whitman's wharf is the main fishing wharf in Canso. A structural inspection found evidence of major deterioration of the wharf structure which has been restricted to pedestrian use only, for safety reasons. The project includes planning and design work in preparation for a future wharf reconstruction project. Other work, involving repairs to the marginal wharves associated with the Whitman's wharf, will start shortly and continue into the summer months.

Cheticamp - Sand infill at the entrance to Cheticamp harbour has progressed out into the channel area, impeding navigation for fish harvesters. Land based dredging equipment is currently working to remove approximately 5,000 cubic metres of sand from the entrance channel which will result in a much safer channel in which the fishing vessels can operate. It is anticipated that work will be completed by the end of March.

Queensport - The wharf at Queensport deteriorated after years of use and needed repairs to return it to safe operating condition. The project started with removal of the entire wharf decking, bracing, sheathing, fenders and ladders. Damaged piles were replaced and additional piles installed to support the wharf structure. Concrete pile caps and a concrete deck were tied into the piles to improve the wharf's structural strength and extend its service life.

Additional repairs at Queensport wharf include installation of new top and bottom wales with fenders, sheathing and ladders.

Sambro - A development project at Sambro continues this year with the installation of electrical services. Work will start shortly. The fully completed project, which also includes a new launching ramp and marginal wharves, will provide fish harvesters with a much safer and more efficient harbour.

In addition, environmental protection measures will be implemented at Bay St. Lawrence, Pleasant Bay, Margaree and Bayfield with the construction of waste oil buildings for the safe collection, storage and disposal of contaminants.

Organizations: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Arisaig, Queensport Canada Sambro Cheticamp Canso Antigonish Inverness Halifax Pleasant Bay Margaree Nova Scotian

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