Some say that a new year brings hope for a better tomorrow, but I say that all depends
on who's steering the boat. Taking a look at that picture again from fifteen years
ago sparks my imagination with a multitude of wonder that whispers in my ear what
- The most important what if that I have, seems to happen sometime in the future when
all that was empty, is now filled with something, be it high-rise this or high-rise
that, something that will or not block someone's view, or take away from what's there
already, or make that fit into some existing space with the right style or aesthetics
with a pinch of an impeccable combination of current environmental practices. Will
everyone be ready for it when it finished is the question.
- Next on my list of what ifs deals with the thought of what would of happened had
a developer purchased those lands on the west side of the harbour, where the domes
and the silos were once located instead of Central Elgin and managed to make a deal
with the Government of Canada to get the rest of the Port Stanley Harbour. Business
does stuff to maximize profits and would have taken that approach of cramming in
as much development as would be allowed by some Official Plan or fit into that
space through a series of proposed planning amendments that would sooner or later
get those necessary money making results that shareholders are looking for. Any
thing that won't make money will disappear and be replaced with something that does.
To make this all happen according to that master plan there would have to be a significant
amount of lobbying to local government steering them in the right direction of change
to build the necessary infrastructure to allow for all this new development to happen
in the first place. When I think of it, this plan seems almost too familiar, hmm,
- My last what if for now deals with what has happened so far, and what could have
happened if a different agenda had been followed that changed only the timing but
not the charted course that was talked about before Central Elgin got the Port Stanley
Some say that rumours of a plan floated around town long before the divestiture indicating
a desire by locals to transform Port Stanley back into that position of importance
that Port Stanley once had so many times before.
Over those years many plans materialized which at the time seemed impossible to
pass up, and some over time left a legacy of pollution that still haunts us today.
Charting that perfect course seemed impossible but persistence finally ruled when
the possibility of taking ownership of the entire harbour became a reality. Harbour
options before and after divestiture included a site for a Casino, a Ferry Terminal,
and a Submarine Museum which never became part of Port Stanley's draw to date.
Tourism by far seemed to be the best tried and true avenue to success for Port Stanley
to follow and using something we had like Port Stanley's Main Beach was in fact the
best part of the plan. Turning our beach into a Blue Flag Beach seemed to happen
pretty quick and with the annual upgrades and improvements to equipment, manpower
and services offered since, I don't think that anyone will ever find a better beach
on this side of Lake Erie.
This is the point where I step back and wonder what if that original plan of taking
the money received from the divestiture, which was only half of what was needed
and waiting a few years by investing that money to accumulate enough funds before
any repairs were done to our harbour. Using that famous rule of 72 for interest
income, if your money is earning a 5 percent interest rate, you’ll double it in
14.4 years (72 divided by 5 equals 14.4). By using this 5 percent interest rate
example one can only imagine of all the things that would have been possible if
we would have followed the plan that we originally paid for in the beginning.
Take away all that political posturing which gave way to an early entrance into
the ring of those never-ending costs. Costs which amount to less than half of the
harbour being repaired and that half that is fixed is in need of additional modifications
to control inner harbour water levels that occur because of strong south winds.
My only question here is who's going to pay for all that east side breakwater repairs
because back when the west side was fixed, it was in need of just as much fixing.
Because of insufficient funds for all these repairs will that current proposed $500,000
solution of a new breakwater inside the inner harbour lead to a new reality that
the east side breakwater will never get fixed and will be left in ruins.
With an evolving Secondary Plan one can only wonder what the future for the Port
Stanley Harbour may look like as harbour property income seems to be firmly linked
to pay for future harbour dredging, maintenance, and repair expenses without being
a burden to the tax-payer!