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Feds give $25,000 for harbour repairs

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Feds give $25,000 for harbour repairs



Chris Fell / meafordexpress.com

Mar 05, 2008



For a potential pre-election spending goodie, the federal government's announcement Friday afternoon at Meaford Harbour was decidedly low-key.


Local MP Larry Miller was in town to announce $62,000 in harbour funding for the Municipality of Meaford, Lion's Head and Tobermory.


Meaford will receive $25,000 for dock repairs, rock removal and electrical servicing upgrades at the popular town tourist spot. Miller made the announcement on behalf of Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.


"He sends his regrets. He is going to get up here this year and wants to tour all the facilities in this area. He lives in a small town with a small harbour and knows what it takes to maintain them," said Miller.


Meaford Mayor Wally Reif was present at the announcement and thanked Miller for the government's help.


"We thank our landlord for contributing to the ongoing costs of the harbour. It's tough for a small municipality, but it's very important to us. The harbour is our biggest attraction," said Reif.


Meaford Habour Master Mike Molloy was at the announcement and said the municipality would be ready to proceed with the work the funding is slated to pay for as soon as the ice melts. Molloy said the money will help pay for various upgrades and improvements at the harbour.


Miller also took time at the get together to announce that the Conservative government in Ottawa has set aside money in the budget to begin the process of divesting itself of the harbours it owns across the country. The Municipality of Meaford currently operates and leases the harbour from the government.


"It's still the goal of the government to divest harbours to the local municipalities. We now have money in the budget to do that," said Miller. "It's not enough to go right across the country, but it's a start," he said.


Mayor Reif told Miller that Meaford is interested in securing ownership of its harbour depending on the circumstances. Reif noted that natives have made land claims concerning shoreline properties.


The Mayor said the Municipality of Meaford wouldn't want to take ownership of the harbour until it was certain the native land claims were worked out to everybody's satisfaction.

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