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Bell says he's consulting with current Victoria mayor

Of course former Victoria mayors have opinions about a proposed marina, forests minister Pat Bell said, but it's the current one with whom his ministry will be consulting.

“I'll tell you where I put weight, is actually on mayor [Dean] Fortin's comments,” said Bell. “While this is a challenging decision and there are varying views on it, I'm confident that working together we'll find a solution that makes sense.”

The five former mayors, Alan Lowe, Bob Cross, David Turner, Gretchen Brewin and Peter Pollen wrote a May 21 letter to Bell and Fortin.

“As former mayors of Victoria extending back in an unbroken line for thirty years, we represent a wide range of backgrounds, viewpoints and values,” they wrote.

“Despite assertions to the contrary, we state unequivocally that such a large marina extending over almost seven acres of the north shore area of the harbour was never part of our city councils' plan. The most that was ever envisaged in that quiet area of harbour frontage walkways and park was a small seasonal marine facility for local boaters.”

Bell said it's been reported he met with Fortin last week and is looking for clear direction from the city, such as changes to zoning or bylaws, of what it would like to happen on the site.

Proponents of a mega-yacht marina are seeking to lease a 2.63-hectare Crown water lot from the provincial government. WAM Development Group is planning a 52-slip marina for yachts larger than 50-feet long.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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