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Crémaillère Harbour marine port development awaits Crown land access

Dan Villeneuve, CEO and president of Great Northern Port Inc.
Dan Villeneuve, CEO and president of Great Northern Port Inc. - SaltWire File Photo

CEO says company can't meet environmental conditions without access to land

ST. ANTHONY, N.L. —

A company looking to develop an international marine port on the Northern Peninsula says it’s now waiting on land access before the project can proceed any further.

Great Northern Port has proposed to develop a marine offshore base at Crémaillère Harbour 4.1 km south of St. Anthony by 2030. 

The company had initially scheduled construction to start in 2020.

As fall sets in and 2019 winds to a close, that start date is increasingly coming into question as the company awaits approval on Crown land access.

Once Crown land access has been approved, the company will still have to meet four environmental conditions laid out by the Department of the Municipal Affairs and Environment.

The company’s Environmental Preview Report (EPR) is subject to these conditions before it is released from further environmental assessment.

At that point, it can start development and construction on the land.

Great Northern Port President and CEO Dan Villeneuve says it approached Crown Lands when the EPR verdict was reached in June, letting it know they were ready to start work.

Four months later they’re still waiting for approval.

“Until we have the land, there’s no even consideration of those things to be done,” Villeneuve told The Northern Pen. “The conditions have to be met prior to construction and none of that is going to fall into place until we actually have a piece of land to do it on.”

The company first contacted the province about the Crown lands in November 2016.

Villeneuve says they were provided their permit numbers in May 2017.

A spokesperson for the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources, the department responsible for handling Crown land applications, confirmed to The Northern Pen the file is under review and the applicant will be notified when the review is complete.

Due to the size and the scope of the application, the department said it was not possible to provide a timeline for its completion.

No further details were provided.

Meanwhile, Villeneuve is stressing patience.

“Government knows best on how that needs to be approved,” he said. “It is a big parcel of land.”

Villeneuve remains unconcerned and optimistic the project will proceed.

“This is just the process,” he said. “We’ve been into this for over three and a half years now and we’re extremely optimistic.”

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