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Great Northern Port CEO hints at 2019 start on St. Anthony project

Dan Villeneuve, the President and CEO of Great Northern Port, was invited to be the guest speaker at the St. Anthony and Area Chamber of Commerce’s monthly meeting at the Haven Inn Nov 7.
Dan Villeneuve, the President and CEO of Great Northern Port, was invited to be the guest speaker at the St. Anthony and Area Chamber of Commerce’s monthly meeting at the Haven Inn Nov 7. - Stephen Roberts

Dan Villeneuve tells business leaders he hopes to see 'shovels in the ground' in the new year

ST. ANTHONY, N.L.

The President and CEO of Great Northern Port hopes to see “shovels in the ground” for Crémaillère Harbour Marine Port project by 2019.

Dan Villeneuve, president and CEO, was the St. Anthony and Area Chamber of Commerce guest speaker during its monthly meeting Nov 7.

He provided an update on the company’s proposal to develop a full-service marine offshore base at Crémaillère Harbour, 4.1 km south of St. Anthony. The project has been under environmental assessment with the province’s Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment since March 2018.

Villeneuve told the chamber he hopes to see work started by late spring or early summer 2019.

However, he also stresses the project hasn’t been approved by the province.

“Until it is, there’s no project,” he told the chamber.

Villeneuve said Great Northern Port has met with the province’s environmental assessment committee three times since it was appointed to the file in March.

According to him, one more meeting is planned. After that, the company will make a final submission to the province’s environment minister for approval.

“The process with provincial government has been nothing but a good and consistent process for us,” Villeneuve added.

Archaeological finds

Villeneuve also explained how the company has been handling archaeological finds at Crémaillère Harbour.

“There’s been great attention from an archaeological perspective in the Crémaillère Harbour because of the sensitivity of different deposits that we weren’t aware of when we first started,” he told the chamber. “I think it’s important that people from the community understand the valuable assets that are in the community. Some of it is not seen, but it’s there and it’s really extraordinary.”

To ensure the safety of these finds, he says, Great Northern Port recently hired third-party archaeologists to dig in the area.

After discoveries were made the company consulted with its archaeologists and the province. It was determined there will be buffer zones to protect the artefacts.

“If they are to be disturbed, they will be done and disturbed by archaeologists through the dig – either privately funded by ourselves or by government or other groups,” he said. “But those areas have been identified and will be protected by our company.”

Employment

The Northern Pen asked Villeneuve how many jobs he expects would be created by developing Crémaillère Harbour.

He could not provide an estimate, he said, but once the process advances he will better be able say what they are looking at, “in realistic terms instead of guessing.”

During the meeting, Villeneuve did address the issue of accommodations for workers. He said the company has no plans to construct a camp site for workers.

“I don’t think camps are the way to go with this,” he said. “There’s a vibrant community and several other communities around that are there.”

stephen.roberts@northernpen.ca

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