UPDATED: Former Alberni mayor appointed to Port Alberni Port Authority

City councillors chose former mayor Ken McRae as their appointee to the Port Alberni Port Authority.

Former Port Alberni mayor Ken McRae has been chosen by the city to be its representative on the Port Alberni Port Authority.

The city’s new appointee to the Port Alberni Port Authority is an old hand at civic politics.

Mayor John Douglas announced Monday that council chose former mayor Ken McRae as the city’s representative to the port authority board.

McRae will serve a three-year term on the board; he replaces Gary Brett.

“I’m elated and I’m especially glad that support for this was unanimous among councillors,” McRae said. “I look forward to working with them. There’s a lot we can do together.”

McRae’s name was chosen from a pool of 15 applicants, city clerk Davina Sparrow said.

McRae was first elected mayor of Port Alberni in 2001 after serving a term on council.

He’s served on the Island Corridor Foundation, the Upnit Power Corporation Board and on the board of Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICE-T). “I was quite involved in the negotiations with ICE-T for the breakwater,” McRae said. “The city has had a good relationship with the port authority.”

Stemming log exports, lobbying for developing land across from Harbour Quay, and becoming a hub for the commercial fishing fleet are just some of the initiatives McRae said he wants to advocate for, as well as raising the profile of the Valley’s deep sea port.

“I was always surprised that people in decision making places didn’t know that we had a deep sea port. It was shocking,” McRae said.

There are seven directors who oversee the affairs of the port authority: four appointees made by the Governor in Council, as well as federal, provincial and municipal appointments.

The present board of directors includes Don Ferster, Ken Barlow, Gordon Blake, Darren DeLuca, Dianne St. Jacques and Gillian Trumper.

Under the Canada Marine Act, the port authority jurisdiction spans the Alberni Inlet from the Somass River to Tzartus Island. Its operations are underwritten through revenue generating operations such as lumber exports, marina management, and property leases.

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