Toronto, Ontario, August 20, 2014 – The Honourable Ted McMeekin, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Pat Vanini, Executive Director of AMO, presented a P.J. Marshall Plaque Award to the Town of Goderich for its private-public partnership to revitalize the Town’s waterfront through an expanded harbour and wharf.

The Award was presented August 18, on the main stage of the 2014 AMO Conference in London. A Plaque Award recognizes projects that exemplify all of the P.J. Marshall Award’s criteria: innovation, tangible benefits, improved efficiency, innovative financing and transferability.

“In these times of tight and declining budgets, partnership is crucial to every local government’s success,” said Deb Shewfelt, Mayor of the Town of Goderich. “Partnering with Sifto Canada and other users enabled us to protect and revitalize our harbour – which was and continues to be a major centre and asset for our community.”

Motivated by the Government of Canada’s decision to divest itself of a number of ports, the harbour revitalization project aimed to preserve and expand the Town’s harbour, which had been a critical element of the local economy and industry.

The public-private partnership (P3) agreement signed between Sifto Canada and Goderich mapped out a process to revitalize the Town’s harbour and wharf, centering on four principles: that the port would be economically self-sustaining; that the Town and the public would continue to have access; that funds for capital improvement would be provided by users; and that user fees would be lower.

The P3 agreement has already led to impressive results, including lower user fees and significant infrastructure improvements.

“The impressive revitalization of Goderich’s waterfront demonstrates how far private-sector partnerships and non-traditional financing can go to support the public good,” said Pat Vanini, AMO’s Executive Director.

The P.J. Marshall Award is an annual competitive process organized by AMO that involves the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Centre for Public Private Partnerships. Awards acknowledge municipalities who have demonstrated leadership and innovation and in public-private partnerships. Submissions by Ontario municipalities are judged by a panel on their creativity and success in implementing new, innovative ways of serving the public.

This year, one Certificate of Merit was awarded alongside three Plaque Awards. The Town of Deseronto received a Certificate of Merit for its transit system. Simcoe County received a Plaque Award for its Georgian Village Redevelopment project. A Plaque Award was also presented jointly to the Town of Georgian Bluffs and the Township of Chatsworth for its Biodigester project.  

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments.  AMO supports strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.  

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