Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - 5:45 AM

Mayor O'Keefe Concerned About Loss of Border Services Position

Mayor Dennis O'Keefe, Chairman of Cruise St. John's and Past Chair of Cruise Newfoundland and Labrador, is very concerned with the recent announcement by the federal government that the Canada Border Services Agency position of District Director for this province is being eliminated.

Mayor O'Keefe and several representatives from the provincial cruise industry met with Minister Peter Penashue, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, this morning to discuss issues pertaining to the delivery of service by the Canada Border Services Agency in Newfoundland and Labrador and in particular to speak about the loss of the position of District Director for the province.

"Loss of this position will mean that the decision making process will be taken out of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador and will come from Halifax, Nova Scotia at a time when we have serious issues facing the cruise industry," says Mayor O'Keefe. "This is a regressive decision by the federal government, which will be detrimental to the continued growth and evolution of the cruise industry in this province"

The cruise industry contributes a great deal to the local economy in St. John's and 2012 is projected to be a record setting year with 16 cruise ships are expected in St. John's in 2012, bringing with them over 25,000 passengers and crew, an increase of 67 per cent over 2011.

For further information:
Elaine Henley
Manager, Communications and Office Services
City of St. John's
Phone: 709-576-8202
E-mail: ehenley@stjohns.ca

Dennis O'Keefe
Mayor
Chair, Cruise St. John's Committee
City of St. John's
Phone: 709-576-8477
Cell: 709-685-5657
E-mail: dokeefe@stjohns.ca