The CEO of Great Northern Port Inc. isn’t concerned after the provincial government determined its environmental preview report (EPR) for development at Crémaillère Harbour contained deficiencies.
On Feb. 26, the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment announced that the EPR submitted by Great Northern Port Inc., for Crémaillère Harbour Marine Port Development, was deemed deficient and that a revision is required to address the deficiencies.
A letter from the department lists 10 deficiencies. The requirements include a more detailed description of the occurrence, distribution and status of fish and wildlife species; development of a women’s employment plan; the placement and operation of port facilities; and a detailed evaluation of the requirements of the proposed project in comparison to services and infrastructure currently or potentially provided by existing ports.
Dan Villeneuve, CEO and president of Great Northern Port Inc., told The Northern Pen he is not concerned.
According to Villeneuve, it is not unusual for governments to require more information with a project of this magnitude.
“It’s not unexpected because of the size of the project,” he said.
He believes the company will be able to address all the points released to them.
“It’s just basically additional information required by the department and we don’t see any concern with that,” he said.
According to Villeneuve, the next step was to meet with the department and project engineers to discuss the items listed, which was expected to happen last week.
Although the company’s ability to address the deficiencies listed is not a concern, Villeneuve says the announcement is a delay.
The department now has another 45 days to respond to the revision drawn up by the company. And the company first will have to do their due diligence in drawing it up.
Regarding a timeframe, Villeneuve says they will know more about that after they meet with the government. But he does not anticipate it will take a “long amount of time.”
Meanwhile, the St. Anthony town council passed a motion during its public meeting Feb. 26 to ask the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment to expedite the process to approve the revised EPR.
Mayor Desmond McDonald told The Northern Pen he doesn’t want to see the process drawn out to the full 45 days.
“We’re going to write the minister and hope he can move this project to the front and try to get something moving faster,” he said.
The town also passed a separate motion requesting support from St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI) and the St. Anthony Port Authority for the project.
“Those two entities are intertwined with just about anything that happens around the port or the harbour in St. Anthony,” said McDonald. “So, it’s important we have those organizations supporting the project.”
The mayor feels such expressions of support for the project are important. He is hopeful that the St. Anthony port would be able to work “hand-in-hand” with any port development at Crémaillère Harbour.
“It’s not about competition, it’s about adding services to the area,” he said.
He believes the area needs a project such as this to reignite the economy.
McDonald says he spoke directly with Villeneuve and he believes the company would have no issue fulfilling the requirements listed.