Outside looking in — again

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When the St. John’s Port Authority wanted to block off half the waterfront from pedestrian traffic, it cited safety as the reason.

It reminded me of Samuel Johnson’s quote about patriotism being “the last refuge of the scoundrel.”  

I visited the waterfront on Monday, July 7, and concluded that it is clearly the intention of the port authority not to accommodate any pedestrian or bicycle traffic on any portion of the waterfront apron.

If this was not the case they would have provided access to the Harbour Drive sidewalk at the newly installed gate instead of users having to backtrack to the vehicle access/exit by the new Jack Astor’s restaurant.

Their true intention is obvious for on the part of the apron supposedly available to the public there was a Woodward ship clearly engaged in commercial preparatory readiness.

So for safety reasons they block off half of the apron but when they need the other half it doesn’t appear to be an issue.  

The same can be said for when the two new restaurants were being built. For a long time there were overhead cranes lifting building materials while pedestrians and bicyclists travelled underneath.

No safety problem there!

So to be clear on what’s happening on the waterfront: the port authority is going to do what it wants, when it wants and how it wants. Public consultation will be at a minimum.

Anyone who criticizes or disagrees with them will be fed a line of self-

serving blarney disguised by obtuse federal port rules and the threat of lawyering up.

And if you don’t believe me, ask the owners of the Scademia tour schooner which for years was literally the poster image for St. John’s tourism.

They will soon do court battle with “the authority” on a matter that appears to have more to do with arrogance and unchecked power than fair minded treatment.  

In the meantime the public is outside, as usual, looking in.

Might is right.

Tom Hawco


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Recent comments

  • Ken Collis
    July 09, 2014 - 08:34

    CBS is the place for all commercial vessel traffic on the northeast Avalon. There should be a container pier, oil tanks and tanker berths, passenger vessel berths, supply vessel docks and staging areas, etc... There is tons of room out there. St. John's tiny harbour is not big enough for any realistic commercial purpose other than tourism.