The million dollar security fence for St. John’s Harbor is becoming a bigger fiasco with each passing day.
Mayor Dennis O’Keefe and his cronies at city hall unanimously agreed to kick in hundreds of thousands of dollars to assist the St. John's Port Authority to erect a new fence along the St. John's waterfront to meet international security standards.
They wanted to protect the city’s economic interests and ensure the new fence was not an eyesore.
After a few weeks of defending the fence for economic and security reasons, the carpet has been pulled out from under the mayor’s feet.
It would appear he was hoodwinked!
Transport Canada did not order the new fence. The mayor had been echoing the port authorities line that a new fence was a necessity resulting from Transport Canada’s latest audit - and the need to meet international security standards.
The Port Authority says that without ISPS certification, foreign flag vessels, offshore supply boats, and cruise ships will not be able to use the port.
So the challenge appears to be this: How does the port meet the ISPS certification without installing the fence?
My advice, council should take the verbatim advice of renowned journalist Gwynne Dyer.
This should make for an interesting day of backtracking (clarifying) for the mayor and the port authority.