Sydney Chamber of Commerce awaiting cruise ship berth addition
Bruce Meloney says the recent elections have slowed progress on the addition
The chair of the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce says he's eager to see a second berth added to the Joan Harris Cruise Pavilion to allow the cruise ship industry in Sydney to continue to grow.
In a year-end interview with Information Morning Cape Breton, Bruce Meloney said progress has been slow and cited recent elections as the culprit.
"Now that we have two levels of government with mandates to do something — I think that we have some very good people elected — I think that there's an opportunity now to move [on] that faster," he said.
Meloney said he thinks Mayor Cecil Clarke and council should work with local investors such as Parker Rudderham and Marty Chernin to move things along.
To help give Sydney's downtown a boost, moving part of the Nova Scotia Community College there would provide a needed anchor for the area, said Meloney.
Commercial tax reform
He would also like to see work done on tax reform. The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has the highest commercial tax rates in Nova Scotia, which makes it difficult to attract new businesses to the area, said Meloney.
He said the mayor and council need to get a variety of stakeholders together — including the province and the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce — and come up with creative solutions.
Meloney would like to see lower commercial tax rates.
"We're not opposed to paying taxes, and we're not expecting that ours should be cut in half, but I think that there has to be a way that's good for everybody," he said.
Meloney praised the municipality for cutting red tape for businesses, but said the changes aren't happening fast enough.