Valentines and Black History Month Appreciation

In this the Hallmark Cards’ day of love the Port Alberni Port Authority wants to share a little bit of it with its many customers, users, community partners and other organizations. Without these people the Port Authority cannot do all of what it does and without these people the community wouldn’t be what it is that keeps us living here. Sometimes it’s all too easy to take partnerships for granted and often we do so simply because partnerships are just a way of life and way to success in Port Alberni. However, the Port is thankful for these partnerships.
January’s article looked ahead at the Port’s major Fishermen’s Harbour development to start phased installation and construction this year. Without the support of the City of Port Alberni and, especially, its Economic Development Manager, Pat Deakin, PAPA would have been even harder challenged to complete all the necessary due diligence and advocacy required to achieve a successful funding application from Island Coastal Economic Trust. PAPA also needs to acknowledge the support of Community Futures for helping it achieve the “first dollar” that is often the most difficult to receive towards any major project under the West Coast Community Adjustment Program. Of course, as Fishermen’s Harbour is, in fact, a Small Craft Harbour branch of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans that PAPA administers under a management contract a tremendous amount of in-kind and financial support has come from this department under the shared view of Port Alberni being the natural “hub” for the commercial fisheries fleet of the west coast of Vancouver Island. If immediate interest from independent sources within the industry that we’ve been responding to is any indication then PAPA and its partners are optimistic that this project’s ultimate goals will be met sooner rather than later.
Given PAPA’s core business, related operations and facilities the Port’s staff and board of directors also value its relationships with the Regional District, Longshoremen, customers, suppliers and, last but certainly not least, local First Nations. While we may not always agree on all things we believe there is mutual respect. The Port Authority places the highest priority in ensuring the maintenance of open and trusted dialogue. Likewise, we appreciate working with partners who share these values.
I also want to take a moment to acknowledge February as Black History Month. Those of you who identify yourself in this demographic, and all Canadians, should be proud of the far too numerous to mention black-Canadian contributors to our shared history, industry, culture, sports and society. From Harriet Tubman and the early “conductors” of the Underground Railroad into Canada; Lincoln Alexander, first black-Canadian Member of Parliament; jazz great, Oscar Peterson; National Baseball Hall of Famer, Ferguson Jenkins; to one of Port Alberni’s most beloved teachers and philosophers, Winston Joseph, each and thousands of other notables and “ordinary citizens” have made their marks towards Canada becoming and remaining one of the most successful, diverse and tolerant nations in the world.