St. John's City Council & The St. John's Port Authority: Do not restrict public access to St. John's harbour
  • Petitioned Mayor Dennis O'Keefe
  • Responded

This petition was delivered to:

Mayor Dennis O'Keefe
Deputy-Mayor Shannie Duff
Councillor Danny Breen
Councillor Frank Galgay
Councillor Bruce Tilley
Councillor Debbie Hanlon
Councillor Wally Collins
Councillor Sheilagh O'Leary
Councillor Gerry Colbert
Councillor Tom Hann
Councillor Sandy Hickman
St. John's Port Authority
See response

St. John's City Council & The St. John's Port Authority: Do not restrict public access to St. John's harbour

    1. Sherwin Flight
    2. Petition by

      Sherwin Flight

      St. John's, Canada

UPDATE 2

We, the undersigned, call on all members of St. John’s City Council to support the motion of Councillor O'Leary to rescind the agreement to cost-share the proposed harbour fence with the St. John's Port Authority.


While the public has raised many questions, few have been answered. There also seems to be some confusion as to the necessity of permanently restricting access to the areas in question.


Considering that the harbour fence proposal will cost taxpayers close to $500,000, we feel it is prudent to allow for meaningful public input before committing such a large amount of money to this project.

****
On Monday, December 10th, St. John's City Council will be voting on a proposal to build a permanent, locked, fence that will restrict public to most of the St. John's harbour apron (it is contained in the annual budget). Information has not been shared with the public in an open and transparent manner, and when the issue has been discussed there were more questions than answers.

UPDATE: On December 10th Council passed the budget, including the $400,000+ harbour fence. Two councillors objected to key parts of this proposal. Councillor O'Leary will be bringing forward a motion to rescind the city's agreement to share the cost of the fence, and Deputy-Mayor Duff said she would like the city to call on the port authority to hold public consultations including the city and members of the public.

We need these two motions to pass!!

Please e-mail your City Council and ask them to support these motions, you can find their contact information here: http://www.stjohns.ca/city-hall/about-city-hall/council

In addition to this, Transport Canada recently made the following statement to CBC:

"Transport Canada is satisfied with the Port of St. John's current security plan and did not instruct the port operator to erect new fencing. Any amendments or changes to a security plan must be submitted to Transport Canada for review and approval."

So please do your part and e-mail or call members of City Coucil and let them know how you feel about this fence.

Key points:

- 60% of the harbour will be closed to the public.
- The other 40% will have limited public access.

(You can see a photo on the Happy City website highlighting the areas that will be restricted to the public here: http://happycity.ca/fence)

The harbour in St. John's is part of the engine that drives the economy of the city, however it is much more than that! The harbour has always been a public space, and is one of the things that makes St. John's so special. It needs to be realized that our harbour serves many purposes: it is a working port, it is a sense of pride for St. John's residents, and it is a place to go to take in the amazing scenery enjoyed by residents and tourists alike. Walking along the harbour provides an experience that cannot be found in many other cities, and has been an enjoyable experience for people for many years. This is an experience that should be allowed to continue.

An advocacy group in St. John's, called Happy City, recently posed some good questions:

Is a fence that restricts public access to the harbour the right thing to do? Is it worth almost half a million taxpayer dollars? Does the fence fall within the city's long-term vision as developed by the people who live and work here? What alternative approaches were considered (temporary / movable options, alternate designs, etc.)?

These are all very important questions, however they are also questions that do not appear to have been answered.

If this proposal is allowed to go forward our harbour experience may forever be altered. A lot more public discussion needs to take place before a decision should be made on this project. Until those discussions take place City Hall and the Port Authority need to take a step back and put this project on hold. It is our harbour too, and we should have a say in its future.

Please take a minute to sign this petition, and share it with your friends. If we don’t act quickly it may be too late!!!

* This petition was not created by, or in affiliation with, Happy City St. John's.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Fence protesters shut down city council meeting

      Sherwin Flight
      Petition Organizer

      Fence protesters shut down city council meeting

      It was hard for people to contain their emotions Monday during debate on the proposal to construct a security fence on the harbourfront at the regular meeting of St. John's City Council. Mayor Dennis O'Keefe told spectators in the gallery, most of whom are against the project by the St....

    2. Stop Payment St. John's - Stop The Harbour Fence

      Sherwin Flight
      Petition Organizer

      Monday, December 17 @ 4:00PM
      St. John's City Hall

      Stop Payment St. John's - Stop The Harbour Fence | Facebook

      Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. People use Facebook to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, post links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.

    3. http://bit.ly/12pjRZG

      Sherwin Flight
      Petition Organizer

      Transport Canada did not order the St. John's Port Authority to erect a new fence along the St. John's waterfront to meet international security standards.

      Transport Canada's Steve Bone clarified the federal agency's position in a statement emailed to CBC late Thursday afternoon.

      "Transport Canada is satisfied with the Port of St. John's current security plan and did not instruct the port operator to erect new fencing. Any amendments or changes to a security plan must be submitted to Transport Canada for review and approval."

    4. Reached 2,500 signatures
    5. Just 9 more hours until the "Take Back The Harbour March"

      Sherwin Flight
      Petition Organizer

      At 3:30pm today there will be a "Take Back The Harbour March" which will coincide with a Council meeting at City Hall.

      The event can be found on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/events/304676696303581/

      Event Details

      MEET AT 3:30 @ THE PORT AUTHORITY BUILDING
      MARCH ALONG THE HARBOUR TO CITY HALL FOR 4:15 PROTEST
      ATTEND THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING AT 4:30

      "TAKE BACK THE HARBOUR MARCH" | Facebook

      Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. People use Facebook to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, post links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.

    6. Reached 2,000 signatures
    7. ‘People want access to the harbour’

      Sherwin Flight
      Petition Organizer
      'People want access to the harbour'

      The water is what attracts people to this province, and it's what's in the veins of Newfoundlanders, says Mark Wilson of St. John's. Removing access to the water, he says, is a step in the wrong direction.Wilson, a musician, organic farmer and pastSt. John's mayoral candidate, has organized a Take...

    8. Allan Hawco galvanizes campaign against harbour fence

      Sherwin Flight
      Petition Organizer
      Allan Hawco galvanizes campaign against harbour fence - Nfld. & Labrador - CBC News

      Posted: Dec 7, 2012 9:57 AM NT Republic of Doyle star Allan Hawco has fuelled a social media campaign against a controversial fence that will bar public access to much of the St. John's waterfront.

    9. Reached 1,000 signatures
    10. Take Back The Harbour March

      Sherwin Flight
      Petition Organizer

      A march has been planned in protest of the harbour fence proposal. The event can be found on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/events/304676696303581/304724359632148/

      Event Details

      MEET AT 3:30 @ THE PORT AUTHORITY BUILDING
      MARCH ALONG THE HARBOUR TO CITY HALL FOR 4:15 PROTEST
      ATTEND THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING AT 4:30

    11. Reached 750 signatures
    12. Decision-maker St. John's Port Authority responds:

      St. John's Port Authority

      Testing SPAM


    13. Reached 25 signatures
    14. St. John's wants to build a permanent, locked fence on the harbour

      Sherwin Flight
      Petition Organizer
      St. John's wants to build a permanent, locked fence on the harbour. | Happy City St. John's - Dialogue for a Better City

      A major modification is about to happen to an integral part of St. John's and very few people know about it. This coming Monday, December 10th, St. John's City Council will vote on a proposal to build a permanent fence along the majority of the St. John's harbour apron.

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Julia Donahue ST.JOHNS, CANADA
      • 6 months ago

      This is a huge part of our culture, of our home.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Eileen Corbet OSHAWA, CANADA
      • over 1 year ago

      Regular visitor to St. John's and first thing I do is go down from Military with my camera to see how the harbour looks, friends not likely to join me if the harbour is made off limits

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • alex mcgruer ST.JOHN'S NL, CANADA
      • over 1 year ago

      The harbour was and remains part of NEWFOUNDLANDS' culture. While once we visited the white fleet now we play host to all manour of ship. Any threat to shipping has historically come from the seaward side USS Cole, Rainbow Warrior, The ships at harbour in Bordeaux. To further halt access to this port by the poblic makes me wonder why we have spent huge money cleaning it up when it has been a settling pool for our sewerage for five centuries. So we chuck 160M$ to clean it then 0.5M$ to block it off for a non existent threat? NO!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Robert Young ST. JOHN'S, CANADA
      • over 1 year ago

      This is a waste of money, has no realistic security value and will reduce the value of our city as a place to live and visit.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Tom Murray OTTAWA, CANADA
      • over 1 year ago

      Because I was born in St John's

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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