CORNWALL, Ontario – City council wants more answers before it moves ahead with expressing interest in taking over the Cornwall Harbour lands.
Councillors learned Monday night simply expressing an interest in the harbour – the site of a controversial chemical tank project – might not be enough to assuage concerns about having total control of the property.
The city appears interested in taking advantage of a federal government port divestiture program that could see it own the harbour. But information contained in a report to council Monday night suggested existing leases on the property would have to be honoured under such a scenario.
The report also suggested the city would have to keep the land as a harbour.
Council directed administrators to determine if that is actually the case.
“We’re not committing to anything beyond getting language that better reflects our situation,” said Coun. Bernadette Clement.
CAO Norm Levac said changes can be made if a letter of interest is sent to the federal government that suggests the city wants to take ownership of the harbour.
“This is really just a starting point,” said Levac. “We can review those clauses and others and come back to council with some modifications.”
Councillors ultimately want the chemical tank project shelved.
Before any agreements are struck the city must enter into a partnership, or receive consent from the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne which has a land claim on record concerning the harbour area.
Council will examine the issue at its next meeting Feb. 10.