Waterfront woes: City seeks answers from feds

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By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall Mayor Bob Kilger is calling on the federal government for answers on an issue that has the community up in arms over unannounced changes to the waterfront.

Cornwall Mayor Bob Kilger.

City officials have received a slew of inquiries and concerns over the development project currently underway at the Cornwall Harbour. The City says the site, where two storage tanks are being placed, is on Transport Canada lands and out of their jurisdiction. Kilger has requested a meeting with Federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt to discuss the matter.

“The project is clearly inconsistent with the Waterfront Plan, with the Official Plan, with the long term vision of our community, with recent developments and efforts in the area, and we are very disappointed with this outcome,” said Mayor Bob Kilger, in a statement. “We are also very concerned about the lack of dialogue and public consultation.”

A press release from the City of Cornwall entitled 'Mayor Requests Meeting With Federal Transport Minister Raitt' included the following details:

The City has not issued any building permits or site plan approvals for this project. The Public Port of Cornwall is under the sole administration and control of Transport Canada. As such, the development is on federal land and thus exempt from Provincial Regulations like the Ontario Building Code and municipal site plan control. The federal government can proceed to construction without any approval from the municipality, and has done so.

In Fall 2013, Transport Canada entered into a lease agreement for this federally-owned property with a company that is licensed to distribute products for regional road safety including dust suppression and ice control for roadways. Activity currently taking place at the Public Port of Cornwall includes construction by the tenant of two storage tanks for the purpose of receiving, storing and distributing calcium chloride as part of the company’s operations. Transport Canada has dealt with its tenant exclusively with regards to lease negotiations, site plan issues and construction schedules.

Organizations: Transport Canada, Public Port

Geographic location: Cornwall, Ontario

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