Cornwall, Akwesasne sign historic agreement concerning harbour lands

Cornwall, Akwesasne sign historic agreement concerning harbour lands
Akwesasne Grand Chief Abram Benedict and Cornwall Mayor Leslie O'Shaughnessy sign the co-owners agreement Tuesday.

CORNWALL, Ontario – Akwesasne and Cornwall have officially signed a co-owners agreement for the harbour lands in the city.

The historic signing stems from an initiative by Cornwall and Akwesasne to take joint ownership of the Port of Cornwall.

Akwesasne Grand Chief Abram Benedict described it as a “momentous moment” that signals a new era of cooperation between Cornwall and Akwesasne.

“This will create opportunities for both communities for years to come,” said Benedict.

Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy echoed the grand chief’s comments, saying it’s a proud moment for both communities.

“The potential is there for us to build something special,” said O’Shaughnessy. “Let’s move forward together.”

A bilateral committee made up of staff and elected officials from the City and MCA has been negotiating with Transport Canada on the divestiture Port of Cornwall and the surrounding lands. These negotiations have been completed and co-ownership of the Port has been approved by the elected officials of both communities. This transfer is expected to be completed by the end of June.

At the same time, a joint public entity, titled the Cornwall Akwesasne Port Development Commission, is being established to oversee the management and long-term development of the Port under the umbrella of a co-owners’ agreement.

A copy of the co-owners’ agreement can be found on the city’s website.

The specific terms of the deal with Transport Canada cannot be released at this time due to a disclosure agreement however the details will be shared once the transfer is completed. 

The agreement marks the culmination of numerous meetings and negotiation sessions involving officials from the City, Akwesasne and the Federal Government over the past two years. Consultants have been engaged in conducting significant analysis of the Port lands.

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