ATE wants to discuss community takeover of Cape Egmont Lighthouse
CAPE EGMONT, PEI – Jan. 3, 2012 – Residents of the Evangeline region will soon be asked to answer two important questions: “Does the community wish to take over responsibility for the Cape Egmont Lighthouse?” and “If so, which organization (existing or not yet formed) should take it over?”
L’Association touristique Évangéline (the local tourism association) wishes to begin serious discussions on these topics during a free information breakfast Saturday, Jan. 21, at 8:30 a.m. at the Centre Expo-Festival in Abram-Village. To register for the breakfast, contact Bonnie Gallant at (902) 854-3663 or at firstname.lastname@example.org before Jan. 17.
The association explains that the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has identified 47 lighthouses and marine lights, including the Cape Egmont Lighthouse, as “surplus” and no longer wants them. It is first offering them to community groups that would want to assume responsibility for them. If no group makes an offer on the lighthouses before May 2012, the government will put the remaining ones up for public sale.
Believing the Cape-Egmont lighthouse has the potential of being developed into a tourist attraction, the ATE is therefore interested in seeing that the structure be saved. It wants to feel the pulse of its community on this matter. It has already formed a committee to look at various development possibilities for the site.
“If the community decides to take charge of the local lighthouse, it will get until next May to submit an official request containing 25 signatures,” notes the ATE. « Next, the group charged with the project would have a maximum of three years to develop and submit a business plan for the site. If the plan was accepted by the government, the site would then be transferred to the group.”
During the breakfast, participants will be briefed on all conditions of transfer and legal responsibilities of such a takeover and as well as on results of research that has been done so far. Officials will then explain the various steps that need to be taken if the community is ready to accept the challenge.
The ATE and RDÉE Prince Edward Island (the provincial francophone economic development council) have been studying this matter for quite some time; they felt the timing was right to have a discussion about available options for the site with the community. These two organizations are ready to continue working on the lighthouse project to ensure its development and long-term success.
CUTLINE: Mont-Carmel fisherman Robert Gallant and Bonnie Gallant, economic development officer with RDÉE Prince Edward Island Inc., are in front the Cape Egmont Lighthouse, checking out a plaque that used to be hung on the building. The Association touristique Évangéline will host a breakfast discussion with the local community Jan. 21 to determine if it wants to take responsibility for the lighthouse.
For more information:
Association touristique Évangéline