More than a few questions about the revived Norisle agreement

To the Expositor:

It would appear that the Norisle Society has received from Assiginack precisely what it wanted, even though the legal issue was previously settled. If the township is going to enter an agreement as reported in the May 8, 2019 Expositor, then as a taxpayer I am entitled to questions being answered.

It was reported when the lawsuit against the township was in initiated that had it not been for the actions of the township, the Norisle would at that time already been in dry dock undergoing the refit. I ask, why then is a three-year agreement necessary to keep the vessel in Manitowaning? Why can’t the refit be undertaken immediately?

Why must the taxpayer subsidize the Norisle Society if it has reportedly already raised and spent $2 million? Surely this going concern could raise the funds for its own insurance, docking and utilities.

Why is the township being expected to issue charitable tax receipts? Why is the Norisle Society not registered as a charity itself? There must be qualified professionals on the Island who can assist with the necessary accounting and public disclosures.

There were previous reports of the hull being in excellent condition having being manufactured from high quality steel, now there are issues with deterioration. Has the vessel been surveyed by a qualified engineer? There was a consultants report but that apparently did not bring up the asbestos issue.  How many more unknowns are there? What is the true condition of the boilers and mechanical systems of the Norisle? Is the vessel ready to move under its own power? Exactly what has been accomplished thus far in achieving the goal of repurposing the vessel?

Has all of the necessary engineering been done, does the Norisle Society have complete specifications to put the work out to tender? Is it known exactly what needs to be done in order to insure and licence the vessel for its new purpose? I remember a large, bound publication of that nature on display in the kiosk aboard the Chi-Cheemaun. We should all be able to exactly know what it will look like when finished if this has been completed.

It was also reported that the Norisle Society has not met in almost five years. I am most curious to know how a lawsuit could be initiated and settled, or am I missing something?

Answers are needed. I think the taxpayers of Assiginack Township are entitled to all of the facts, plans and full disclosure. Not wishful thinking, not sentimental cruises down Memory Channel, not anecdotal assessments of the ships condition, nor ancient log entries attesting “the ship she be sturdy.” Not cleverly written press releases. Convince me the Norisle will be something other than a floating hobby shop for years to come. Convince me there is a feasible plan that will preclude 11th hour reprieves and injunctions for years to come.

Ronald Kay

Brampton and Assiginack