Government fast tracks wharf repair process, seeks local tenders

This docking pier at South Baymouth awaits Transport Canada improvements to mitigate low water so the Chi-Cheemaun can dock.

TORONTO–The Ministry of Northern Development and Mines has announced it is currently seeking qualified contracting companies to compete in the Owen Sound Transportation Company’s (OSTC) procurement process, once the tender for work on the wharves is released on May 13.

“Once it was clear the federal government would not fulfil their responsibilities to maintain the wharves used by the MS Chi-Cheemaun, our government, knowing the significant impact this would have on the local economy, stepped in,” a representative from MNDM said in a press release. “Our goal is to resolve the situation as quick as possible and we are doing the best we can with the current situation.”

“An agreement has been reached with Transport Canada, the owners of the docks, to permit the province to access and complete repairs,” the spokesperson continued. “An engineering firm has been retained and has started on the engineering design. At the same time, the OSTC is moving forward with the procurement process. The OSTC is working to fast-track that process to get the work done. We certainly understand the urgency to get the Chi-Cheemaun sailing again; we are working expeditiously and remain committed to completing the work as soon as possible. While the OSTC continues to consider any practical option to get the ferry sailing sooner they take passenger and crew safety very seriously, and it remains the agency’s primary priority in any circumstance.”

The OSTC’s initial completion timeline of six to eight weeks was based on preliminary discussions with the engineering firm. If there are contracting companies that are able to do the work more quickly, they are encouraged to submit a bid through the tendering process.

To learn more about the provincial government procurement process, and to compete for the contract, companies can visit www.merx.com.