Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Great Idea... but put your own money up!!!!

I've listened to Mike McGeoghegan talk about this lobster storage facility for some time and I'm all for new investment... providing the end-users/owners (co-op) take most of the risk and not the taxpayers... What I'm saying here is if this is such a great business idea then like any proposal that would be put forward to a bank then the shareholders should put up "their own equity" of 25% cash and guarantee the Government loan balance... but if this is just another silly scheme that doesn't have a legitimate business plan with no real investor money in the deal like our meat plant or pork plant then I'm out until the fishers put their own money up...

P.E.I. government looking at adding lobster storage capacity

The Guardian
Published on November 4, 2011
Wayne Thibodeau

Fisheries Minister Ron MacKinley says he's prepared to look at adding more lobster storage capacity in Prince Edward Island in an effort to boost lobster prices.

In response to a question by Charlie McGeoghegan, MacKinley said he'd like to see the fishermen come forward with ideas. He said if the idea is feasible, he is prepared to fund the project.

"The way I like to run departments is the way I run the farm," said MacKinley.

"I want people to come forward with ideas. Souris has an idea, the young fishermen down there have an idea. If that group of fishermen can get together and form a cooperative and put a proposal to us I'm 100 per cent behind that."

Lobster prices were stronger during the spring season, but fell again for fall fishermen.

A lobster storage facility would allow access lobster caught during the first two weeks of the spring lobster season, when lobsters are usually plentiful, to be held until later in the season or for the month of July when neither the spring nor the fall fishermen are fishing.

That's also when demand peaks, as more and more tourists visit the province.

Tignish Fisheries has a cold water lobster storage facility, which can hold up to 500,000 pounds of lobster.

McGeoghegan, who is also a fishermen, believes additional lobster storage would improve lobster prices.

"Processors have used this as a leverage point or an excuse for years that they can't pay because there is a big glut of lobster in the spring and that's the reason why the price is down," said the MLA.

"This would take that off the table. If the water is cold enough, it can hold them for two months easily and longer if the water is cold enough."

The MLA for Belfast-Murray River hopes his district can be considered for a lobster storage facility.

"I think there is more than one (cold storage facility) needed. There is a large number of fishermen in my area so it would be a good spot for one."

MacKinley said his department is also trying to develop new markets in western Canada.

He also wants to see more Prince Edward Island lobster being sold in China.

With a population of 1.4 billion people, China holds great potential.

There is currently a group of Prince Edward Island fishermen, including P.E.I. Fishermen Association President Mike McGeoghegan, in China looking at expanding the markets in that country.

"We have financed a group of people over there right now for 15 days to China," said MacKinley.

"I'll definitely be asking these people when they come back to meet with my department and find out what was accomplished by going to China."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Speaking of "disaster"... the City really has one!

After reading the following story I can't help but think the City of Charlottetown really has a major "disaster" and that's Councillor Mitchell Tweel who can't seem to shut his mouth... here's the City trying to come to terms with what I'm sure is an important issue... so Council decide to have the Chair of the intergovernmental affairs, transit and communications committee, Cecil Villard, act as “spokesperson for the City” to help calm fears among the public... and that approach seems reasonable to me and not unlike how private enterprise would put “one” knowledgeable representative out front to communicate their issue to the public... but lo and behold out comes "Councillor Do Nothing" with his usual grand standing by trying to fear monger the public into believing the world is going to end... if there's anything that really needs fixing by Council then I’d suggest it would be figuring out some way of keeping Mitch's trap shut and that may very well prove more difficult than fixing the City's sewage problem as there's more "shit" to deal with... as a start maybe they could figure out a way to keep him away from his daily visits to the Guardian?

Charlottetown ordered to fix sewage overflow problem

The Guardian
Published on November 4, 2011
Ryan Ross

The City of Charlottetown has no choice but to fix its sewage overflow problem after Environment Canada ordered it to do so.

Coun. Cecil Villard, chair of the intergovernmental affairs, transit and communications committee, said the city is doing what it can to get the necessary funding to move forward on the sewage problem.

"We want to advance this project," he said.

On Wednesday, Environment Canada's enforcement branch sent the city an order to fix the problems that have led to sewage overflows into the city's harbour during heavy rains.

The overflow stems from a portion of Charlottetown's storm sewer and wastewater lines that are combined into one.

That has led to numerous cases of storm water combined with sewage running into the harbour at the Navy Quay lift station near the Queen Charlotte armory, which in turn caused the shellfishery to be closed down for periods of time.

To fix the problem the city will need to separate the lines, which has already been done for most of the system. There are about 12.5 kilometres left to upgrade.

So far the city and provincial government have committed to each pay one-third of the cost to fix the system, which a city employee said Wednesday has been estimated at about $18 million.

Provincial Environment Minister Janice Sherry confirmed Friday the government is still committed to its portion of the funding.

In the order, Environment Canada's inspector listed six incidents of sewage entering the harbour in a six-month span and that the city hasn't taken reasonable steps to stop it from happening.

The inspector also collected a sample from the lift station outfall on Aug. 28 and it tested for levels of fecal coliform higher than what city officials said they usually saw in their own tests.

Under the order, the city has to provide a detailed action plan within six weeks of receiving it to outline the steps it will take to comply.

The city also has to provide the inspector with further reports every 60 days that detail the plan to separate the storm water and sewage lines.

Villard said he doesn't think any level of government wants to sit on a project that has drawn as much publicity as the storm sewage issue in Charlottetown.

"We want to get it underway," he said.

The next step for the city is to follow up with the federal government to get a sense of the necessary process to negotiate federal funding for the project, Villard said.

"The issuing of an order is secondary to the financing."

In response to questions about federal funding for the project, National Revenue Minister Gail Shea wasn't available for comment, but a spokesman for her office said the federal government has already transferred money to the province for infrastructure.

That includes $175 million for a seven-year agreement as part of the Build Canada Fund to meet infrastructure needs, which has already been spent, and $3 million annually to the city in gas tax revenue.

It was a matter of setting priorities, the spokesman said.

Coun. Mitch Tweel said the city spent millions on ditch infilling and he thinks the sewage problem should be the top priority.

"This, for all intents and purposes, is an environmental disaster," he said.

Tweel also questioned the timing of the order because the Environment Department knew the overflow was happening.

"Why did it take so long?" he said.

Water and sewer committee chair Eddie Rice said he didn't think the order was all bad news and agreed the sewage issue should become a priority.

"Maybe in every cloud there's a silver lining," he said.