Newspaper Archive of
Quoddy Tides
Eastport, Maine
February 9, 2018     Quoddy Tides
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February 9, 2018

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Page 32 THE QUODDY TIDES 9 February; 2018 RISING over the Woodwards Cove seawall at low tide was the "supermoon" of January 31. (Arlene Benham photo) Amendment to protect inshore fisheries The February 6 announcement by Min- sume control of other fisheries across the ister of Fisheries and Oceans Dominic Le- country. We don't want that to be the fu- Blanc on amendments to the Fisheries Act ture of Grand Manan!" marks a historical and important day in The addition of economic and social the fishing industry, according to area considerations and the preservation or pro- fishermen's associations, motion of license holders in the commer- "The inclusion of legal protection to the cial inshore fisheries is extremely owner operator and fleet separation is important to the future of the fishing in- great news for our coastal communities dustry in Canada, according to the GMFA. both here in New Brunswick and across Coastal communities rely on the invest- Canada," says Brian Guptill, president of ments of the independent fish harvesters the Grand Manan Fishermen's Associa- and their respective fishing operations. tion (GMFA). This announcement provides assurances The protection of inshore independent that the Canadian resource will stay in the owner operators will ensure the viability hands of Canadians. of coastal communities along Canada's "The work that has been accomplished coastline, according to the GMFA. "This through fish harvester organizations work- announcement will protect the future of ing together and presenting a united voice the fishery for generations to come," says is evident in this announcement. We ap- Laurence Cook, chairman of the Grand plaud Minister LeBlanc for his commit- Manan Fishermen's Association Lobster ment to preserving the independence of Sector. "We've seen foreign interests as- the inshore fleet," says Guptill. Canadian scallop season extended a day by Arlene Benham Association (GMFA), Fundy North Fish- Scallop fishermen in Area 6 and Area ermen's Association and fisheries depart- 1B will get one more day to fish after the merit representatives. It was decided to catches were tallied following the week- allow one more day of fishing on Friday, long season in January. The season February 9, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in both opened on January 15 - delayed a week areas. by previous bad weather that prevented GMFA Office Manager Amy Howe fishermen from taking up lobster traps and says they didn't know how many boats changing to scallop gear. Area 1 closed on might take advantage of the extra day, but January 19 and Area 6 on January 22, but most fishermen had been aware of the pos- final tallies and logbook records remained sibility and so would still have their boats to be entered, ready to go. She says the remaining quota A conference call was held on February was about 32 to 33 tonnes for Area 6 and 5 between the Grand Manan Fishermen's 13 tonnes for Area lB. Program Coordi- nator Bonnie Morse says the date was cho- SAY YOUSAWIT sen because it appeared to be the best weather day that week within the time IN THE QUODDY TIDES frame to have a variation order issued. FLORA BRAND PRODUCTS You can purchase them at these fine retailers: PRINCETON FOODMART. Rt 1, Princeton 796-2244 WOODLAND FOODMART Rt 1, Woodland 427-6995 CALAIS IGA North St Calais 454-3892 TRADEWINDS SHOP 'N SAVE South St Calais 454-7788 R&M IGA 88 Washington St Eastport 853-4050 Wellness center, fire by Arlene Benham Two of the main topics of discussion at the Grand Manan Village Council meet- ing on February 5 involved initiatives that are stalled by poor communication with various entities. Financing the proposed wellness center depends upon gas tax rules, availability of grants and designation of Grand Manan as a remote area. Chief Administrative Of- ricer Rob MacPherson reviewed his in- quiries to date. Council hoped to receive one third of the cost of the $7.2 million facility from both the federal and provin- cial governments. He has received con- flicting information about gas tax eligibility. If the village was designated as a remote area, he said, "Our portion of the cost would be a little less than 20%," with half the cost paid by the federal govern- ment: MacPherson pointed out that island doctors are paid a bonus for working in a remote area and RCMP postings are of limited duration for the same reason. However, no one seems to be able to de- termine if Grand Manan would be classi- fied as remote in this case. "I have asked this question for a year" with no response, he said. Operating costs are more of a concern than construction outlay for some coun- cillors. The Rotary Club has pledged $150,000 over three years, technology grants may be available, and solar panels and geothermal heating are possibilities. Kirk Cbeney suggested getting an update on the consultant's study to see if costs have changed, and Bonnie Morse asked, "Is it better to hold out for the dream of a new center or is there a barebones ver- sion we could live with," since the current pool is in poor shape and expensive to operate and repair. MacPherson said the facility plan has already been cut to the minimum of what people wanted, with a new fitness center, walking track and two pools. Recreation Director Chris Rayner added that he foresaw little difference in operating costs between the most and least expensive plans; those expenses relate mainly to staff'mg. Deputy Mayor Robert Moses wants to see a report with the vil- lage's cost under different grant scenari- os, and it was agreed that village staff should investigate these options and try to get a definite answer about the remote designation. Since MP Karen Ludwig may hold a town hall meeting on Grand Man- an, councillors agreed to ask her to meet with them to address these questions. The other stalled project is the cleanup of the Shorecrest Lodge site. The former owner is deceased, there is an outstanding mortgage and it is unclear who now owns the property and what claims there may be on it. No insurance claim was made with- in a year. It is also unknown how much property tax may be owed. MacPherson said the province is "looking at taking it over" but might prefer the municipality to do so. The village has to get permission from a property owner to do a cleanup, so they cannot proceed until the legal ques- tions are settled. Other business In the 10-minute open session, Legion President Stanley Fleet presented council- lors with a framed print depicting the tombstone of John McCrae, author of "In Flanders Fields," in appreciation of the council's partnership on the Remem- brance Day banner project and for the use of the village office for meetings during the winter, which allows the Legion to save money on heating the Legion hall. He noted that Grand Manan's Remem- brance Day service is uncommon in that the Roll of Honored Dead is read, and he The next issue of I The Quoddy Tides will be published Friday, February 23. site cleanup stalled said that next year's banners will include these names, as well as acknowledging other veterans whose names might not be included because of a lack of family spon- sorship. MacPherson summarized the new fed- eral requirement for municipalities to have an "asset management plan" to retain gas tax funding. He said the purpose is "to get water and sewage up to snuff" regarding replacement timelines and costs. Neither of these is a concern for Grand Manan, but property, roads and vehicles are. They will seek bids from engineering firms to conduct the study and apply to the Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick (UMNB) for funding. Another ongoing concern is slow Inter- net service. While federal funding is avail- able to provide all Canadians with high-speed Internet, MacPherson said the responses he has had from Bell Aliant in- dicate they are aware of the issue and "have no plan to invest in making it bet- ter." Jayne Turner said, "Technically what we have is deemed high-speed; it's just not working." She said the village shouldn't wait for federal funds in case it isn't considered eligible. Morse added her concerns about phone line infrastructure, pointing out that people report loss of ser- vice in rain and wind. MacPherson said he thought Bell representatives would be pre- pared to visit for discussion. Morse reported that the Pearl Mist 180- passenger cruise ship has booked stops on May 17 and October 21 and 28, as well as the Grande Caribe on July 15. She want- ed business owners to be aware of the off- season visits so they may decide whether to open early. The main Canada Day activities will be held at Anchorage Provincial Park again this year, with the traditional breakfast and greasy pole in Seal Cove. Councillors discussed the feasibility of generators for the community center and airport in response to the damage done to the power cable in January. Preliminary cost estimates are $125-150,000 and $22,000, respectively. Turner wondered if emergency airport lighting would affect whether Horizon Health and EMT staff would accompany medevacs. Greene summarized his discussions with NB Pow- er and said alternatives could include an- other generator for Grand Marian or bringing power from Maine through Cam- pobello. There is a warming center with a generator at the fire hall. Rayner summarized the women's Lob- ster Cup hockey tournament. The twO lo- cal teams hosted two teams from the mainland. GoGo Gymnastics has sched- uled a March break camp; there are still openings for the morning sessions, and with extra sponsors, children needing fi- nancial assistance are encouraged to sign up. Discounted rates are being planned for the arena, with half-price rentals during off-peak times before 3 p.m. on week days. Summer staff and lifeguards are needed. After some discussion about building security and after-hours program- ming of the locks, council approved the installation of an electric keypad for the front door of the community center. Wayne Sturgeon reported on the UMNB meeting he attended in January. The new Municipalities Act gives com- munities more power over unsightly pre- mises and recognition as a level of government. Healthcare and the asset management plan were their two biggest concerns. Constable Matthew Paynter gave the RCMP report. Officers responded to 53 calls for service including two fires and a fatal accident in January. There was one federal statute file involving controlled drugs and nine provincial files. The next regular council meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the village office.