During the 2014 Municipal Election, candidates were asked the following question: “Would you support any expansion of the Marina if it includes new slips west of the central pier?” These are the responses of the current members of Council:
Gil Brocanier: The only harbour plan I will support is one that respects the needs all of the user groups and the public. I will NOT support a plan that restricts or compromises the current user groups, and in fact I expect the plan report to provide enhancements to the user groups that will ensure they will continue to function for many years in the future. At this point I cannot make additional comments as we do not yet have a plan to review, and I would be disappointed if at this point the electorate would expect me to make any other decisions on this most important area to the town of Cobourg. My management style has always required that I have full information before making decisions for our citizens. We have ONE opportunity to get it right and that is why I will be waiting until the report comes out before I make any further comments.
John Henderson: I am awaiting the report and recommendations from Shoreline Engineering Inc. regarding the harbour and marina lands. I believe their recommendations must certainly address the concerns of all stakeholders, including Walking Clubs, Survivor Thrivers, Cobourg Dragon Boat and Canoe Club, Willow Beach Field Naturalist and the Cobourg Yacht Club. Indirectly, this area also supports the United Way Campaign: Challenge the Dragon and other community events, such as the Cobourg Waterfront Festival. This report must reflect a multi-dimensional approach and be equitable in terms of how these harbour lands are to be used. It is a public area that needs to be celebrated by all Cobourg and Northumberland citizens. If by chance the report’s recommendation focuses primarily on the marina expansion, then I will not be able to support this recommendation. I concur with Deputy Mayor Frost when he stated that the harbour lands are one of our remaining “gems” and we, as a Council need to get it right.
Forest Rowden: I would like to see the harbor stay the way it is now and then all the groups including bird watchers and dragon boat users could enjoy the harbor the way it has been for many years, especially since the coal piles and oil tanks have gone. I can’t support a plan that is too one sided.
Theresa Rickerby: To date I have not received any information nor seen any plans that lead me to believe that an expansion into the west of the central pier is necessary or viable. A balanced and sustainable approach to the marina is the key to success. It is imperative that public access to the water be retained for use by our community including non motorized water sports and other user groups.
Debra McCarthy: I will not support the Phase II and III expansion of the Marina for 120 more slips because the waterfront is the Town of Cobourg’s most precious all season destination that must be protected as a natural environment for future generations. Year-round promotion of accessible activities for the public should be encouraged. The west harbour area provides a calmer setting for the dragon boat, canoe and sailing club members, activities which make the recreational use of the waterfront more financially accessible to the general public than boats requiring serviced slips.
Brian Darling: I think we all realize there is a need for improvements such as a handicap accessible dock and future infrastructure repairs just to name two. I am sure a plan can be brought forward that will allow for these improvements along with others. I am all for making the necessary changes and improvements but I personally cannot in good conscience vote to allow expansion of boat slips west of the centre pier. The west basin should remain as close to its current condition as is possible.
Larry Sherwin: I will only support a plan that has taken in all concerns. We need to update our infrastructure so we do not lose what has been built so far. We need to build a harbour for all users in and out of the water. This can be the jewel we all know it is but we all need to work together to create it and move forward.