Meet the Port's new Harbour Master, Steve Baxter

Last month we introduced you to the Port Authority’s new Terminals Manager, Jon French. This month welcome the Port’s new Harbour Master, Steve Baxter. Although, given his family connections in Port Alberni and Victoria Steve is not entirely a stranger to this area. So, the opportunity to move closer to family after literally working all over the world – including the North Pole - and, most recently across the country in Halifax, was a big motivator for Steve to pursue this position and exercise his many years of marine experience.
As a good team player who takes as good as he tries to give Steve had no problem opening up for a little Q&A, which, no doubt, has given us even more fodder for the friendly fire of water-cooler ribbing:
DM: We know why you wanted to come to Port Alberni but what do you miss about Halifax already?
SB: Besides my wife and daughters I definitely miss The Cheap Lobster.
DM: Is that your favorite watering hole or the actual shell fish?
SB: (laughing) could be both!
DM: Speaking of favorite places and food do you have a favorite place yet in Port Alberni?
SB: (without hesitation) The J&L
DM: Still on the topic of food and drink: chicken or fish? Beef or pork? Red or white?
SB: Yes to all
DM: So, besides enjoying food and drink – and who doesn’t – what other hobbies do you have?
SB: I enjoy most sports and, especially, outdoor activities like golf and fishing so I can’t wait to enjoy the beautiful scenery down the Alberni Inlet with a couple of lines in the water.
DM: I know a lot of people from Nova Scotia who have allegiances to Boston-based sports teams so it’s time to confess: did you cheer for the Bruins against the Canucks during the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals?
SB: next question
DM: answer the question. We want the truth
SB: You can’t handle the truth!
DM: So….you’re not only a Bruins fan but I bet you love their superpest, Brad Marchand since he’s from Halifax, too.
SB: I said you couldn’t handle the truth. He went to school with one of my daughters so ya gotta support the home town kid.
DM: Now that we’ve alienated you from most of the west coast hockey-loving fan base how do you plan to get involved in the community?
SB: I’ve played or coached soccer most of my life so I’d like to help out as a soccer coach here in town. I also have an invitation to play with a certain men’s hockey league team that I’m looking forward to; even if I hear they wear Canucks blue.
DM: Last question – can you describe your role and priorities as Harbour Master?
SB: In my role as Harbour Master I am responsible for:
• The security of the port & terminal
• The safety of the port’s employees and those who use its facilities
• The infrastructure within the port, such as the new Argyle Breakwater
• All environmental & emergency situations within the harbour limits
• All navigation & shipping matters; both commercial and recreational.
I’ve had family here since 1988 so I have a strong desire to help improve not only the Port’s facilities but our community in general.