One of the most important transfers of a port gets finalized tomorrow in Kings County. The Souris Harbour Authority Inc. (SHAI) becomes the owner of the port and harbour from Transport Canada. This announcement was made today by Gus Clinton, Chairman of the Souris Harbour Authority Inc.
SHAI is a not-for-profit local entity established to own, operate and promote the development of the Port of Souris. In June 2005, SHAI signed a Letter of Intent with Transport Canada to initiate formal negotiations to transfer the ownership of the public port and public port facilities to SHAI. The Port of Souris is one of Transport Canada’s Regional/Local ports slated for divestiture under its Ports and Harbours Divestiture Program.
SHAI receives an upfront contribution of $22.5 million from the Government of Canada to be used exclusively for operational and maintenance costs over the next 15 years. “As the new community based owner and operator representing port users, community groups and the town, Souris Harbour Authority Inc., is now adequately financed to maintain, develop and promote the port in order to make it a viable and dynamic business entity,” says Mr. Clinton.
Danny Ehler, Chairman of the Souris Port Fishermen’s Committee says “the Souris fishermen are pleased with the transfer and look forward to SHAI operating a safe and viable port. Community ownership and management with a sound financial position mean the future direction of the port is based on local needs and opportunities.”
The property includes five wharfs, breakwater, a transit shed, former Coast Guard building, approach roads and harbour bed totalling 460 hectares. The transfer agreement does not include the Transport Canada ferry terminal operated by CTMA.
The Port of Souris is the largest port facility in Prince Edward Island. The primary user of the port is the fishing industry. Thirty-one local fishers use the port as well as many transient fishers throughout the various fishing seasons. Aggregate, in support of provincial highway and construction needs and potatoes in support of the Island’s agricultural industry is also shipped through the port. The port also has a recreational marina operated by the Town of Souris.
Gus Clinton, (902)687-3239 Chairman, Souris Harbour Authority Inc.
Gerry Gallant, (902)566-1701
Business Consultant, Souris Harbour Authority Inc.