New Dawn will host a community meeting as it prepares to meet with ECBC next week on the issue of port development and ownership of community assets. Interested citizens are invited to attend the open public gathering on Monday, March 28 from 7-9pm at the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion, Sydney. Doors will open at 6:30pm with a live musical performance.
This public forum is one of a series of steps being taken by New Dawn in preparation for a long awaited meeting with ECBC CEO John Lynn on key issues affecting the advancement of commercialization plans for the Ports of Sydney.
New Dawn had asked for a meeting with Mr. Lynn on several occasions over the last several months. Each time the request for a meeting was declined. Recently, Paul LeBlanc, Chair of ECBC, intervened and instructed the CEO to meet with New Dawn. The meeting between ECBC and New Dawn is scheduled for March 31, 2011.
Rankin MacSween, president of New Dawn, said his organization’s interest is in ensuring a transparent process with respect to the issue of port development. “We want to ensure that New Dawn represents a view on Port development to ECBC that is aligned with the community,” said MacSween. “The messages and communiqués New Dawn has received and continues to receive tell us that community interest in the protracted debate with ECBC on Port development and community asset ownership is strong. Therefore, the need to give the community the opportunity to provide input to ECBC through New Dawn is obvious.”
New Dawn Chair Doug Lionais described New Dawn’s proposal as “based on a set of principles whereby the community takes the lead in determining its future. New Dawn’s proposal is for a new model of economic development in Cape Breton – one where wealth created here, stays here. Through ownership of its key assets, the community will have the capacity to make the best use of these assets. It, in fact, has the responsibility to do so.”
While an agenda for the March 31, 2011 meeting between ECBC and New Dawn has yet to be finalized, there have been suggestions that it include governance, port marketing, a community trust, and available incentives for community development organizations involved in port commercialization.