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Ottawa spends millions to protect New Brunswick wharf

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Friday was the opening day for one of New Brunswick’s top tourist attractions.

Visitors to the Pointe-du-Chêne Wharf couldn’t help but notice new shoreline protection measures put in place on both sides.

Pointe-du-Chêne Harbour Authority general manager Victor Cormier is pictured. (Derek Haggett/CTV Atlantic)

Pointe-du-Chêne Harbour Authority general manager Victor Cormier said the federal government has spent millions on a project to protect the wharf.

“Fiona was probably the worst thing that happened to the wharf, but it was the best thing because it gave us some funds to do the repairs to stop any future storms,” said Cormier. “If you do the shoreline protection, you do the infrastructure the right way then you can really weather the storm.”

Tropical Storm Fiona hit the wharf hard on Sept. 24, 2022 causing around $3 million in damages.

Money spent to strengthen the infrastructure in anticipation of future storms means a lot to business owners on the wharf, like Rob Taylor, owner of the Sandbar.

“It was stressful times during the hurricane. But with all the private investment that was made, the government kind of kicked into gear and realized, ‘Hey, we’ve got to protect their investment and on top of that we have to protect the biggest tourism attraction in New Brunswick,’ especially when you partner us with Parlee Beach,” said Taylor.

Rob Taylor, owner of the Sandbar in Pointe-du-Chene, is pictured. (Derek Haggett/CTV Atlantic)Both visitors and area residents have noticed the improvements made to the wharf over the past few years.

“We got comments starting last year, and even people visiting the wharf, they’re just ecstatic of the bike lanes and the sidewalk and everything that’s been done,” said Cormier.

Pointe-du-Chêne resident Robert Dawson had his family in town from Halifax and took them for a stroll.

He said he’s been coming to the wharf since the 1950s.

“They’ve done a tremendous amount of work. I take my hat off to the Harbour Authority for all of the efforts that they’ve done, maintaining and expanding, it’s become a real tourist attraction,” said Dawson.

Taylor said more than 250,000 people visited the wharf last year and both he and Cormier are anticipating an even bigger season this year.

“I think it just relaxes people. In a world that’s kind of stressful, I think people come down here to kind of relax and take their mind off everything,” said Taylor.

Claudine Hayley went for a bike ride with a friend Friday morning.

“You can see how beautiful it is here. It’s peaceful and we come here to enjoy our ride with our bikes and it’s just a nice, relaxing ride,” said Hayley.

A woman stands on the Pointe-du-Chêne Wharf. (Derek Haggett/CTV Atlantic)

Cormier called it a unique place where people can come to visit and have a good time.

The wharf is now open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. seven days a week.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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