I don’t normally disagree with Mr. Berman but this time I have to take issue with something that he commented on in his post a yesterday.
I had intended to write something about this last week but got side tracked and forgot about it. One of the last orders of business of the previous council was to approve a dinner boat cruise service that will start to operate out of Collingwood harbour this coming summer. I guess over the last couple of years I have not really given the last council credit for much of anything. In this particular case though, they got this thing passed in an 8 – 0 vote with very few questions and minimal fuss. Which I was rather impressed with.
In Steve’s last blog post in reference to this impending boat cruise service, he said this:
(a) There is a 56-60′ charter boat being added to a harbour that already has its stakeholders fighting over usage, and,
(b) Why this commitment would be made while the town is just starting the process of a waterfront master plan.
In regards to a) I think Steve is nitpicking. One extra boat being moored, exiting and entering an already underutilized harbour will not make any difference to anything or anyone, in my humble opinion.
In regards to b) if this had been left to the new council to make a decision on this issue (and this is no slight on the new council by the way). I think by the nature of a new council, taking the reins and trying to find its feet, it would have taken valuable months to approve. The approval would then have been bogged down within the waterfront master plan process. The poor lady would be lucky to get this thing up and running by 2016. As it is now there is a 90 day opt out clause, which both parties, the town or the operator, can initiate if it’s not working for either one of them. No one can lose.
By this getting fast tracked through council, the lady operator has lots of time to interview and hire staff, get the boat “ship shape”, start advertising promoting and forming local partnerships. Imagine; people actually coming down to Collingwood from the Village to spend money. This service is a good first step in giving people an actual reason to come to Collingwood. We should make the process for potential operators and investors trying to start this type of tourist friendly endeavour in our community as easy as we possibly can. So in this particular instance kudos to the last council.
Good luck to Lauren Matthews and thanks for bringing this opportunity to our town. This is long overdue.