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North Vancouver city council frustrated at port authority consolidation

North Vancouver city council frustrated at port authority consolidation

Officials from the Canadian city of North Vancouver are expressing concerns over the Canadian government's moves to reduce three municipal authorities into a single entity.

   Transport Canada, the nation's government transportation authority, is moving to consolidate the Fraser River Port Authority, the North Fraser Port Authority and the Vancouver Port Authority into a single omnibus port authority to be named the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. Canadian maritime law allows port authorities to sit 11 directors, only one of which may be appointed by a municipal organization such as the city council. As part of the consolidation from three authorities to one, the government transition committee is seeking the voluntary resignation of two of the three municipally appointed representatives.    The government had set a Sept. 24 deadline for the resignations and is also asking the North Vancouver City Council to proffer a name for the single representative.

   Council members last week expressed frustration at the loss of representation and also the lack of input into the consolidation process.

   “The issue with regards to the port amalgamation is creating a number of issues for us,” said North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto at the council meeting. “We’re frustrated with how this is going, and at this point in time we’re not prepared to offer any names to put forward.”

   Council member Craig Keating also expressed frustration at the shrinking representation. 'Clearly the reduction in municipal representation on the Vancouver Port Authority board from three down to one is inadequate to reflect the interests of the citizens in the region in which the port works,' he said.

   A motion to appoint former New Westminster Mayor Helen Sparkes as the single representative failed, with several members citing a desire to know more about all the other possible candidates for the board position before reaching a decision.

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