OPINION: Long Sault logistics hub presents great opportunity, and a few challenges

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By Nick Seebruch
OPINION: Long Sault logistics hub presents great opportunity, and a few challenges
A comparison of the size of the proposed logistics hub when compared to the village of Long Sault in yellow.

South Stormont Council received an update at their meeting last Wednesday on a new project that will be a game change for the region.

Camino, a joint venture between Avenue 31, and Canadian Rail and Equipment Works Inc. plans on building a 676-acre logistics hub just north of the village of Long Sault; that’s nearly three-square kilometers. As a size comparison, this logistics hub when completed will be roughly two-thirds the geographic size of Long Sault.

This project presents a lot of opportunities, but, also potential challenges that regional municipalities will have to step up and address to make this project a success.

Opportunity: Efficient logistics

Without a doubt, this project is good news for South Stormont. Camino identified Long Sault as a perfect site for a logistics hub due to its proximity to the CN Rail line, Hwy. 401 and the St. Lawrence River. Road, rail, and river. Once the Camino project is completed goods will travel through Long Sault via all three.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, North America, like much of the world, has experienced supply chain issues leading to shortages in various items. I’m sure we can all remember at the beginning of the pandemic when you couldn’t find flour on grocery store shelves, or more recently a lack of electronics has led to a shortage of cars on showroom floors. This new logistics hub will make sure that goods reach consumers faster and with greater consistency.

Challenge: Need more workers

South Stormont will face some growing pains though. The first of five phases of the project is expected to be completed by 2023 and will see 70 jobs created. The regional job market is already starved for workers and I think that this will be one of the first challenges that the Township will have to address, attracting more people to come and work in logistics in Long Sault.

Opportunity: Budding business opportunities

This development will bring construction workers, truck drivers, and warehouse workers to the rural township of South Stormont. Ambitious entrepreneurs will have ample opportunity to tap into this new growing market with new business ventures.

Already one example of this is the Lost Villages Brewery which is going to be establishing itself just around the corner from the new logistics hub. With all of those thirsty workers basically right at their doorstep the prospects for this new brewery are looking bright and are just one example of a potential business whose clientele will be many of these new employees in the logistics industry.

Challenge: Housing

An influx of workers to the region will also see housing prices go up in a market that is already white hot, and this is a problem that I think will require a regional approach to solve. I know that Cornwall has an Ad Hoc committee to look into the housing issue in the city, and more people moving to the region to work will just put more pressure on them to produce a solution.

Also, environmental considerations need to be taken into the equation. We shouldn’t just simply build more houses. We should build more houses with the idea of minimizing our carbon footprint, while also creating new communities that are vibrant and pleasant to live in.

Opportunity: Boon to the environment

One of Camino’s goals in creating this logistics hub is to help protect the environment. The idea is that by making the supply chain more efficient you’ll see less trucks travelling on the road, and more use of rail, and river to get goods where they need to go. Streamlining the supply chain is not only good for the consumer, but it can also make a real positive impact on the environment as well.

I know that there have been some concerns that this project will cut down some of the Township’s precious canopy cover, but Camino has stated that they are willing to work with the local conservation authority to help protect the ecology of the region. The Township should hold them to that.

What do you think readers of the new logistics hub coming to Long Sault? Email me your Letter to the Editor at nseebruch@seawaynews.media

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