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SYDNEY (NS) – February 3, 2011 – As CEO of Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC), I would like to comment and provide actual facts in relation to two separate and distinct projects. Both projects, although independent of each other, will ultimately impact the commercialization of the Port of Sydney and its related infrastructure.
1. Sydney Harbour Dredge
The dredge of the Sydney Harbour access channel will be enabled through a funding partnership of the Government of Canada through ECBC ($19 million); the Province of Nova Scotia, through the Department of Transportation ($15. 2 million); the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) ($2 million) and Nova Scotia Power (NSP) ($1 million).
The federal and provincial governments, CBRM and NSP have agreed to the need for a Project Oversight Management Committee which will work with the Sydney Ports Corporation, who is the actual applicant corporation for the Sydney Harbour dredge project.
The primary role and responsibility of the Oversight Committee is to ensure that all funding partners work with the Sydney Ports Corporation to ensure that appropriate project performance management and accountability processes and protocols are in place, so that the dredge moves forward consistent with the forecasted timelines and budgeted costs.
The Sydney Ports Corporation Board of Directors has ultimate responsibility for the dredge project, and the project manager, Jim Wooder, and his advisory team reports directly to the Sydney Ports Corporation.
The Sydney Ports Corporation will have ongoing dialogue with the Project Oversight Management Committee through its member representatives who are Mr. Aubrey Rogers and Mr. Wayne MacIntosh. They will apprise the Committee of the status of the project and any mitigating measures necessary to minimize risk to the funding partners.
This division of responsibility and process of accountability is essential in public projects of this size, nature and scope. It is the responsibility of the representatives of the Oversight Committee to communicate, as required, to the organizations they represent. In the case of the CBRM, their appointed representatives are Wayne MacDonald and Marie Walsh. They would report to both the CBRM Council and Administration in a manner they feel necessary and appropriate. The reporting process of the other funding partners is no different.
2. Transportation Corporation
In March 2009, the Government of Canada, through ECBC, committed $1 million for the development of the Transportation Corporation. The primary purpose of this corporation will be to act as the regulatory authority for the Port of Sydney and to facilitate further commercialization of the Port and its related commercial infrastructure. In addition, it will have a responsibility to profile and market the business potential of the Port of Sydney to potential national and international investors and to communicate and market the Port’s international competitive advantage.
Work on the development of this Transportation Corporation has involved comprehensive and widespread consultation with all commercial and community stakeholders and such work has been partially facilitated by an independent consultant who has experience in this area. This work will continue until the best possible governance and operational model for the corporation is finalized.
The applicant corporation for this project is the Sydney Ports Corporation and it is anticipated that the new Transportation Corporation would become the successor to the existing Sydney Ports Corporation, conditional upon the approval of its Board of Directors.
The Government of Canada through ECBC has been the principal funding partner in advancing both of these important projects which are critical to the future of this community and the Cape Breton economy. This financial and organizational commitment is in addition to ECBC’s previous financial and organizational support for the development of the Sydney Harbour Ports Master Plan, the Environmental Assessment and Permitting required for the dredge, the actual development of the request for proposals for the dredge and numerous other international marketing initiatives aimed at raising the profile and level of awareness of the potential of the Port of Sydney.
These initiatives were conducted in conjunction with a variety of community and corporate stakeholders including the Sydney Ports Corporation and Sydney Marine Group.
John K. Lynn