LETTERS: Questions abound about the sad saga of the Norisle

“The final settlement was a mere drop in the bucket considering the magnitude of the venture”

To the Expositor:

Now that the matter has been resolved, as a taxpayer who will be paying towards the costs involved with the Norisle legal action I would like some answers and transparency from both sides.

I have read that had it not been for the actions of the municipality, the Norisle would already be in dry dock at Sault Ste. Marie and the refit would be 50 percent complete. I ask then, why is it not there now? One can only conclude that either all of the necessary funding has been secured or at least enough to move the ship and begin a substantial portion of the work. It appeared the municipality wanted the Norisle gone. I ask, did the Norisle Society offer to purchase and remove the ship prior to commencing legal action or once discovery had begun? Surely the society could have avoided its own legal costs and have what it wanted. Everybody could have had what they wanted.

I also want full public disclosure of all facts from both sides. What agreement was made initially with the Society and the municipality? Why did the Society commence legal action seeking ownership of the Norisle through constructive trust? This would imply the society had title to the ship and it was unjustly taken. Am I to understand now that governments cannot be held to honour contracts by the courts?

Would the Society make public documentation to show the taxpayers exactly what had been accomplished and the complete design, specifications and schedule for the planned work and when the ship would be back in service? I would be most curious to know what it would have looked like when completed.

I would also like the society to publicly disclose what commitments it had for funding, through grants or private and public investment, how much was already received and how much had been spent and for what. If contracts were in place for the refit of the vessel and other for obligations the Society may have, has the municipality been indemnified against any further liability resulting from potential actions against the Society?

Finally, after all the efforts on the part of the Society, money raised and spent, the efforts of so many volunteers, why settle for a measly $45,000, a mere drop in the bucket considering the magnitude of the venture

Ron Kay

Brampton and Assiginack