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St. Anthony Cold Storage & International Shipping on the Great Northern Peninsula

BxLdNvUIMAAGJJXAdvanced transportation networks are key drivers to economic development, investment and job creation. All major cities in the world grew based upon adjacency to waterways and their ability to move goods and services. This still is true today as shipping via waterways continues to be the largest carrier of freight.

The Port of St. Anthony, NL on the Great Northern Peninsula is open for business and is the second largest containerized international shipping port in the province after Argentia.

  • International Container Shipping
  • Fishing Industry
  • Cold Storage/Storage
  • Offloading & Related-services
  • Agency Service
  • Cruise

The Port of St. Anthony harbor infrastructure seen the construction of new wharf facilities, expansion of the marine services and some dredging to accommodate larger vessels in the port with water depths of 9 metres.

St. Anthony Cold Storage Limited (SACSL) operates a state-of-the-art cold storage facility in excess of 50,000 sq. ft. with a capacity of 6,000 pallet positions. An additional, 15,000 square feet of dry storage space is available for packaging and any other items that companies may require for their operation.The facility, built less than ten years ago, has the highest technical standards of refrigeration and product handling equipment. Mobile racking and a power management system make this a flexible operation to meet clients needs (http://www.sacsl.ca/).Bxl4cPbIEAAVhSL

Strategically located, the Port of St. Anthony is adjacent to the shrimp fishing areas and the ideal location for landing and storage of both the offshore/inshore vessels catch. This entity helps service the four shrimp plants operating on the Great Northern Peninsula in Port au Choix, Black Duck Cove, Anchor Point and St. Anthony. Therefore the primary customers are inshore fish processors, the 65′ fleet and a number of factory freezer vessels. There is opportunity for research and development regarding the feasibility of the shrimp shell and crab biomass for proteins, catalysts or anaerobic digestion.

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The Port’s primary shipping company, Eimskip is one of the world’s leading providers of reefer logistics with 100 years of operations is marking its tenth season in St. Anthony (http://eimskip.is/ca/Pages/default.aspx). There is significant opportunity to expand containerized shipping and investment potential for all stakeholders to see increased benefits.

International container shipping, reefer boats, large vessels using pallets instead of containers, factory freezer trawlers, scientific vessels, Canadian Coast Guard vessels, cruise ships, supply vessels  and more than one hundred 65-footers are users throughout the season.

The region is poised to capitalize on arctic research and ocean technology given its location and key assets. A vibrant and diverse business community, post-secondary institutions, government and financial services, as well as infrastructure and property for future developments. One can experience more about what the Town of St. Anthony has to offer at  http://www.town.stanthony.nf.ca/.

The Great Northern Peninsula has significant growth potential with continued investments from business, government and local users. Advancing transportation networks will be key to our future economic development.

Live Rural NL & “Let Your Spirit Soar”

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

Town Infrastructure Vital to Rural Economic Growth – Conche Roads Dire

Conche, NL just hosted a successful week of Come Home Year events, where hundreds of Die Hard Conchers’ came back to celebrate the place they call home.

As visitors turned off to Route 434 (Conche Road) they hit a very dusty gravel road that is wearing away to the bedrock. It has been a complete failure of current and past Governments to address the need to remove this gravel road from Provincial inventory. Despite rebuilding and realignment of this road in the mid-2000’s, the current Government has not committed to completing the job of paving the highway. This is coupled with the decision-making of cutting the calcium chloride program means more dust will leave the highway, creating unsafe driving conditions. Each passing day without paving Government is not getting best value for our tax dollars. This 17.6 KM of gravel needs pavement and we’ll continue to press Government to make this a priority.

The unpaved and dusty Route 434 to Conche:

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The pavement before Town that was not re-surfaced:

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Last year, Government re-surfaced 5 kilometers of road through Town which is of Provincial responsibility that was announced in July 2011 that did not get complete in that fiscal year. The Great Northern Peninsula continues to see late tender announcements and work happening very late in the year or carried over. Government voted against our caucus Private Member’s Motion regarding transportation strategy http://www.nlndpcaucus.ca/nr042413VoteAgainstStrategy.

This 5 KM of Provincial road should not have required repaving, at least not in less than 4 years since it was first paved. It was actually part of a pilot project announced in June 2007 cost shared between the Town and the Department of Municipal Affairs. At the time it was a 75-25 ratio meaning the Town chipped in nearly $125,000 to see this and it’s Town roads paved using this bituminous surface treatment (BST). It was supposed to be cost-effective and prolong the life of a highway. It failed and it left the Town in crisis because it had invested 25% and was left in just a couple of years with paved roads in worse condition than a gravel road, that the Town could not maintain. To make matters worse, shortly after this investment by the Town, the Government changed it’s municipal cost-sharing agreement to a 90-10. This small Town expended a large sum of money and is left with crumbling infrastructure.

I took a some photos of a few kilometers into Town, coupled with some scenic shots. The stops were quite frequent as the lower roads are deplorable condition and it would take more time to fully document condition of all Town roads.

Brush clearing and completion of line painting must occur and be completed earlier in the year, not still pending in mid-August.

Town infrastructure is vital to rural economic growth. The re-surfacing on Conche road was needed and Government at that time should have also re-surfaced the failed pilot project for Town roads.

The Town of Conche sees thousands of tourists annually and could easily be branded as a “tourism destination” with unique scenery, the French Shore, cruise ship visits, vernacular architecture and numerous attractions. It also has an active fish plant that sees product and workers commuting over this route. Development of Conche is being stagnated due to poor road infrastructure – it’s time for change.

I welcome any investment Government will make into our Municipal and Provincial road infrastructure in the District, as there are significant needs.

We need multi-year planning and create an economic master plan. I look forward to continuing these conversations with my constituents to redefine rural Newfoundland & Labrador.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Seals on the Ice

Last Sunday, I had left my home to drive to grandmother’s house in Nameless Cove for a big turkey dinner on Easter Sunday. Driving through the community, I saw a black spot on the ice.

Division No. 9, Subd. C-20130331-01594

The seal is at the edge of the beach.

Division No. 9, Subd. C-20130331-01598

Another seal is close to shore, as pack ice had blocked the Strait of Belle Isle. The land in the background, well that’s “The Big Land” – Labrador. I’m not sure people believe me when I saw, “I can see Labrador from my window,” but it is true.  Just a short 15 kilometres between us and still no plan to connect us by a fixed-link. Advancing transportation and telecommunication networks will be key to Southern Labrador and the Great Northern Peninsula‘s future long-term sustainability. Quebec is completing Route 138 (Lower North Shore Highway), this means Montreal will be just 13 hours drive from this province. It will transform the shipping of goods and services. The current administration promised a feasibility study – a link has not yet materialized. Instead it has opted to build a multi-billion dollar energy project, laying cables on the ocean floor that will interfere with our way of life, the fishery – our mainstay, versus going underground with a tunnel. It was noted in a pre-feasibility study that if both projects were paired, savings of nearly $400 million would be realized. More work is needed exploring a fixed-link, but advancing transportation networks is imminent, we can not continue to be plagued with annual increased rates at Marine Atlantic and an unreliable schedule for shipment of goods and services. These costs are ultimately passed on to the consumer.  We need to be more strategic and consider where we need to go over the long-term, but not forget our roots – our beginnings.

Seals played a critical role in the development of our as a permanent settlement. In the early 1800’s they were a major food source, as the island had only 9 types of mammalia. Additionally, as a British Colony, we shipped both whale and seal oil to the homeland. This oil was used in lamps and correlated with the Industrial Revolution. Today, this product is banned in the United Kingdom.

It will be another couple of days before the sealers take to the ice. I wish much success in this years hunt, as the seal provides valuable meat, oils and pelts that are harvested in a humane and sustainable way. Sealing is part of our tradition, and will continue to remain that way well into the future.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

The Great Northern Peninsula Transportation Forum

Article taken from “The Western Shorefast Fall 2010” Newsletter:

A forum on transportation in the Great Northern Peninsula was held at the Straits Arena, St. Barbe on September 8th, 2010. The forum was planned to discuss the findings contained in a report on the possible business opportunities resulting from the completion of the Trans-Labrador Highway. You can review the entire study on the Nordic Board website at www.nedc.nf.ca.

The two regional economic development boards (Economic Zone 6 and 7) on the Great Northern Peninsula, along with other partner organizations such as CBDC-Nortip, Innovation, Trade & Rural Development (INTRD), the Rural Secretariat NL, ACOA, and municipalities in the region organized this forum “for all stakeholders wishing to learn and/or have input on these emerging transportation business opportunities. The primary focus will report on the recent completion of the Trans Labrador Highway and its overall impacts on the Great Northern Peninsula as related to the road, marine and air transportation routes.”

Additionally, the forum wanted to “seek input towards developing both short and long-term strategic directions for the entire Great Northern Peninsula with respect to business development linked to transportation. Recommendations from the Forum along with the recommendations outlined in the Trans Labrador Highway Study will help shape an overall Transportation Business Development Strategy for the Great Northern Peninsula moving forward in 2010 and beyond.” The organizers sent the attendees a discussion document that spoke of opportunities to discuss: the transportation study; business opportunities and gaps; highway development, signage and webcams; high-speed Internet; emergency services and response; language services; and ferry-related topics, such as schedules, wharf improvements.

All of the presenters identified the following as major issues that will need addressing in the near future:

Impact of heavy trucking and increased traffic on existing roads

  • High Speed Internet Access
  • Inadequate Human Resources for service industry and tourism operations
  • Highway upgrading and development
  • Improved ferry service to and from Labrador, especially in winter

 

Several presenters spoke of the eventual need for a fixed link between Labrador and the Island, outlining proposed routes and possible costs.

The meeting concluded with an invitation from Chris Mitchelmore to prospective and existing entrepreneurs to avail of the business planning services offered through the development boards and the Community Business Development Corporation (Nortip). He encouraged entrepreneurs to work with existing networks, such as The Viking Trail Tourism Association and the Northern Peninsula Business Network.

Transportation Forum Outlines the Infrastructure Challenge

“Some of the challenges undermining the strength of our rural communities flow from deliberate interventions in the economy over the years by governments at all levels. If governments have created many of the conditions that damage rural sustainability and viability, they also have the power and the obligation to intervene in ways that strengthen these communities and enable them to survive and thrive in the modern world. This article argues that rural communities have an indispensable role to play in the economy, and there is nothing natural about letting them die” (Roger Fitzgerald, MHA, Autumn 2005/ Canadian Parliamentary Review).  
 
With the Ferry terminal situated in the backdrop, the venue was the upper room of the Straits Arena, St. Barbe. Approximately 70 people from across the peninsula, the province and beyond came together to discuss and identify new business opportunities  that correlate with the opening of the Trans Labrador Highway in December 2009. This event hosted by the Nordic Economic Development Board and Red Ochre Regional Board brought politicians from all stripes and levels, business owners, organizations, community groups and the public at large.
 
Mr. Wallace Young, MHA for the District of St. Barbe called this transportation link a “milestone” which will bring opportunities. 
 
Mr. Marshall Dean, MHA for the District of Straits-White Bay North projected the importance of transportation connections. He noted that we must meet challenges and seek new opportunities. 
 
Mr. Gerry Byrne, MP for Humber-St. Barbe -Baie Verte daringly noted that transportation is the cornerstone, the life blood of all economic and other activity. There are issues when it comes to access to markets, goods & services, Marine Atlantic and others; the challenges are HUGE…but so are the opportunities. 
 
There were diverse and dynamic speakers representing water, air and road transportation. However, the message was clear that we need an advanced transportation & communication network to be competitive in a global marketplace, which was re-iterated during a presentation given by the Northern Peninsula Business Network. The role of Government includes investing in infrastructure in both urban and rural regions, primarily education, healthcare, highway improvements/ maintenance, human resources and various other government services. There is a need for improved infrastructure across the country, especially in rural regions. This infrastructure is more than just a bit of pavement, it includes communications – power wires, telephone wires, fiber optic cables, various wireless technologies and everything need to make these utilities functional. 
 
Many communities in Economic Zone 7 is yet to experience high-speed internet access and 11 communities in Zone 6 still does not have such an access. I work in an office building that does not have high-speed service. Can you imagine the challenges and inefficiencies? I contacted Bell Aliant today asking about their free upgrade to high-speed ultra for my residence. The response, “sorry you are not in a region in which we offer such a service”. The implications on our current small business operators and attracting new investments can be devastating. For instance, point of sale purchases (POS), answering emails, placing on-line orders, uploading video and even hosting a website becomes a daunting chore.  Canada may be a very rich country and Newfoundland & Labrador may be a “have province”, but we have a lot of catching up to do. If we are to prosper in the future we must invest heavily in our current communications and transportation shortfalls.   
 
Challenges Facing Rural Communities: A Newfoundland & Labrador Perspective by MHA Fitzgerald was quite an interesting read. It stated, In Newfoundland & Labrador, as in some other areas, transportation is a key infrastructure challenge. Sir John A. Macdonald recognized that constructing a rail line from west of the Rockies to eastern Canada was an investment in Canada’s viability and sustainability as a nation. It was enormously expensive, but far cheaper than the alternative of letting the idea of Canada disintegrate into a collection of remote, disconnected states. 
 
 The transportation aspect of the article illustrated how the initiative “opened up”, therefore creating opportunities for rural communities. It is difficult to compare with the opening of the Trans-Labrador Highway to the completion of the rail line connecting all of Canada, but for the residents who live near these regions or will use this new route, certainly  feel the impacts. More trade can now occur, whether it be agriculture, fish products, timber products, value-added products or small-scale manufacturers. 
 
“Over 95% of Canada’s natural and environmental resources are located in rural Canada. Many of Canada’s major industries – agriculture, fishing, forestry, mining and energy – rely on rural communities,” Fitzgerald’s article notes. When we look at Newfoundland & Labrador, populations may be moving towards the Avalon Peninsula. However, the city is a service center, made possible by the resources that exists from the rural economies.   

Therefore, if our transportation networks are not up to par, we will lose our ability to be competitive in the global marketplace. It is evident that our transportation networks are failing us, especially in the rural regions. We can not continue with such neglect, as rural Canada’s infrastructure needs are continuosly eroded or the needed investments never made. Rural areas are the regions that feel the most pain because of this neglect.

MHA Fitzgerald states, “I believe as a nation we need t revisit the thinking of Canada’s first Prime Minister and share the burden of bringing the country’s transportation network into the 21st century”. I agree with the Honourable Member.

Rural regions need an advanced transportation and communications network. We must lobby governments on all levels to make such investments in the appropriate infrastructure. “Infrastructure is essential to economic diversification. and diversification is integral to sustainability. A region is best-position for survival if it has many oars in the water at once.”  This is a very logical argument. Newfoundland & Labrador’s rural economies have been typically built around natural resources and one-industry towns. We have certainly experienced the devastation of boom and bust when an industry shuts down or fails us. The Cod Moratorium of 1992, Abitibi Bowater closing its Mill in Stephenville, and later Grand Falls – Windsor to name a few.

To build stronger communities, a stronger Canada – a greater focus must be placed on rural regions despite our increasingly urbanized world. If we do not focus on investing in the rural economies, as Canadians we will all suffer if we just ignore the current infrastructure challenge that is only getting worse as the days go by… 

Live Rural NL – CCM  

 

 

 

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