I was sent this statement on the Portage Vale residential resort community. I think it speaks for itself. I hope the media gets this and rethinks the initial hostile position they have taken. However, maybe I have grown cynical over the years, but I suspect that if a journalist has made up his/her mind that that this project is ‘bad’ for New Brunswick, no amount of public relations on the part of the developer will matter.
One wonders if Irving were the developer, would the media position be different? One further wonders if the Irvings get to be one of those ‘local suppliers’ mentioned below, would the media position be different? Given the hostility up to now, one would also suspect the developer will not be overly interested in using the Irvings as a supplier…..
I guess this statement means the developer has not been turned off by the negative media.
Statement on behalf of Silver Maple Developments Inc.
We are in the process of planning a development initiative in Portage Vale, New Brunswick. These plans are ongoing and have yet to be formalised to completion. It was planned to publicly announce details at a future time but circumstances have caused us to issue this statement at this time instead.
Briefly, the scope of the project is to develop a family friendly vacation investment residential resort along the lines of proven models currently under construction and operating in Europe. The resort will house a golf course, destination Spa and a sports village among others. These plans are evolving and being added to on a regular basis to improve the attraction and standard of the model.
The resort planning is being undertaken in conjunction with a local architectural practice and all materials, labour and services will be employed locally. All planning, design, regulatory and environmental issues are being handled in-Province by a talented team of designers, engineers and architects. All furnishings, equipment, clothing, goods, plant and anything required in the construction and operation of the resort will be sourced locally or in Canada. Nothing will be imported if it can be obtained in this Province or country.
We are very conscious of our obligations to protect the environment as much as is practicable. We are putting in place sustainable heat and power systems throughout the resort to ease the load on more traditionally generated energy sources in order to produce the smallest carbon footprint that is possible on this development. It is our intention to have as sustainable a development as is practical under the circumstances up to and including the provision of environmentally compatible water and waste management systems.
It is planned to use only two house types to lessen the visual impact on the landscape and these will be constructed using sustainable materials and materials that limit the need for unnecessary over-consumption of fossil fuel generated energy supplies. It was further planned to liase with local forestry and watershed management projects when the time was appropriate to advise on all of these installations and we feel that this is a sustainable plan.
It is also our intention to undertake a replanting of all affected areas that will be overseen by a qualified Forestry Consultant who we intend to employ in a full time capacity on the development. He or she and a Forestry staff will engage in a rigorous landscaping program on the resort. All waterways will be left free and improved where necessary to enhance the visual impact and quality of the landscape.
We feel that there will be a need for up to 500 jobs during construction and this will take 5 – 7 years. Another 300 – 400 positions will need to be filled when the resort is fully functioning with a further 200 seasonal positions being offered every year. These positions will be in all grades and be available to all New Brunswickers.
This is a multi million dollar investment project and includes among its budgetary components allowances for state of the art ‘green’ technology, commissioning of art work from local artists, forestry replantation, thinning and regeneration.
We estimate that it should be worth $500 – $800 million per annum to the Provincial economy in tourist revenue alone when the resort is fully finished and running at full peak. In conjunction with Tourism New Brunswick we will actively assist in promoting New Brunswick as a world class destination.
We are including on the site a business facilitation centre where local business people and entrepreneurs can attend and meet with resort investors to discuss possible export business alliances that will favour all parties concerned. We will facilitate these meetings through a full time qualified business consultant employed by us at no cost to either party in recognition of our role in the community.
We also will engage with local sports groups and organisations who will be invited to use the facilities of our sports village and will have access to top class coaching in sports such as golf, soccer and tennis among others. We want to work with the entire spectrum of the population and nobody will be excluded.
The planning for this development has taken over 4 years. Over $2 million has been expended to date in research and development, land searches, site acquisition and appraisal and we know that New Brunswick is the correct location for this resort.
None of this would have been possible without the assistance of some very proud New Brunswickers – both private citizens and people in government – who have encouraged us when things became difficult and have gone about their work with a smile and an enthusiasm that is difficult to comprehend. Their professionalism is second to none that we have ever encountered previously and they gave us their time, their homes, their food and their expertise without once asking for one cent in return. They know who they are and we won’t name them here but we will in the future and hope they get the recognition they deserve.
A lot has appeared in the media of late and we fear that this has caused distress to family members and friends living in the province. We wish to apologise to them for this and hope that they understand the restrictions of confidentiality that we have had to operate under.
Although the media interest has not been as supportive as we would have initially expected we have been delighted at the support we have received from New Brunswick in the form of the many emails, telephone calls and messages we have received during the past week asking us to persevere. We have been further delighted with the amount of emails we have received from expatriate New Brunswickers working away from home who have chosen to contact us and express wishes to return and work with us on the development. These contacts mean a lot to us at this time.
We hoped that our development would be greeted with an open mind and we trusted, as one of the directors of our company is a native New Brunswicker, that you could see that our motives are pure. We recognise that people will have a lot of questions but confidentiality restricts us in what we can and cannot make public at this time and we undertake to make a more fulsome statement in the near future.
For and on behalf of
Silver Maple Developments Inc.
Sheree King Gillcrist & Declan Campbell