Cornwall, Akwesasne to sign land ownership agreement next week

In this April 5, 2016 photo provided by the City of Cornwall, members of the Port Divestiture Bilateral Committee include (seated from left) Cheyenne Lazore, Researcher, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Cactus Cook-Sunday, Aboriginal Rights and Research Office, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Councillor Bernadette Clement, Chief Karen Loran, Councillor Elaine MacDonald, (standing from left) Planning, Development & Recreation General Manager Mark Boileau, CAO Norm Levac, Councillor Claude McIntosh, Chief Steve Thomas, Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy and Diane Brown, Administrative Assistant. (City of Cornwall via Newswatch Group)

CORNWALL – The City of Cornwall and Akwesasne will sign a co-ownership agreement next week to jointly own the land around the city’s harbour, ending a journey of nearly two years.

A signing ceremony will take place Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at the Turtle Dome on Cornwall Island, the city and Akwesasne announced in a joint news release.

It comes a day after city council passed bylaws to authorize the mayor and clerk to sign those documents. Akwesasne has done something similar.

The co-owners agreement will see Transport Canada turn over the land to Cornwall and Akwesasne as tenants-in-common in a 50-50 partnership.

The harbour land is a 16 acre parcel, which includes the controversial chemical storage tanks.

Terms of the deal are under wraps due to a confidentiality agreement between all the parties.

Meanwhile, a joint board called the Cornwall Akwesasne Port Development Commission is being formed, which will have equal representation from both communities.

“This significant achievement signals a new era of cooperation and collaboration between Cornwall and our neighbours in Akwesasne,” Mayor Leslie O’Shaughnessy said.

“This transfer will demonstrate our commitment to finding innovative ways of creating opportunities for both our communities,” Grand Chief Abram Benedict added.

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