By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
Oshawa’s MP is calling for more time for public feedback on the possible amalgamation of the city’s port with Hamilton’s.
Earlier this month, Transport Canada announced its intention to merge the port authorities of Oshawa and Hamilton into one entity.
Public consultation on the possible move is open until March 11.
However, Oshawa city council is requesting the consultation period be extended to 90 days.
In a joint statement with Conservative Shadow Minister for Transport Kelly Brock, Oshawa MP Colin Carrie supported this request.
“The recent announcement by the Minister of Transport that the Liberals plan to merge the Oshawa and Hamilton Port Authorities has come as a shock to businesses and residents in these communities,” the statement reads. “The Liberals failed to discuss this proposal with the affected communities beforehand and there are concerns that the consultation period is insufficient.”
City councillors and Oshawa Port Authority officials voiced both shock and concern about the potential merger.
“Minister Garneau should have met with relevant stakeholders, including the City of Oshawa, prior to making this hasty decision,” Carrie and Brock wrote in the statement. “This sudden move by the Liberal government further demonstrates their lack of transparency.”
Carrie said a 90-day consultation period would allow for superior local conversation.
“It is imperative the constituents of Oshawa get answers from this Liberal government.”
The Conservative MPs also called on Durham Liberal representatives Jennifer O’ Connell (Pickering-Uxbridge), Celina Caesar-Chavannes (Whitby) and Mark Holland (Ajax) to “speak on behalf of the residents of the region who will be impacted by this decision.”