SUMMERSIDE – The Peacemaker has landed, and with it, hopes too that more will follow.
A group, headed up by Summerside yachtsman Dick Wedge, brought in the Brunswick, Georgia-based vessel but not without some difficulty.
Wedge said it is important to clear up a rule requiring security fees for these types of ships because of the value they bring to ports of call.
He said the last visit of tall ships to Halifax, generated $22 million over a six-day stay.
“What we want to do is get the rules changed,” Wedge said. “According to what we’ve found out, they are in the process of revising this.”
He said tall ships are sail training vessels and as training vessels they should be exempt from Transport Canada’s regulation.
“The simple way to solve the problem or this particular rule that they’re referring too,” Wedge said. “The simple way is to make exception to the rule for paid up, valid members of the International Sail Training Association or, the American Sail Training Association, or the Canadian Sail Training Association. That takes in the whole world. There’s a Canadian one. There’s an American one that has over 1,500 ships and then there’s the worldwide one, which takes in all of Europe and farther.”
He said all ships go through customs when they arrive in Halifax. He said only the captain is allowed to go to shore whether they are anchored or tied up to a pier.
The captain goes to the port authority with the ship’s papers. He then goes to immigration with the crew’s passports and are stamped, Wedge said. The next stop is the customs office for clearance and after that, the vessel and crew are permitted into the country for a six-month period.
“Under that rule, that part 2 rule (regarding security) if something happened to a cruise ship outside the harbour here, and he had to come into the port, under the rule he is not allowed to tie up,” Wedge said. “He’s got more than 12 passengers aboard and his weight would be involved and he’s not allowed to tie up. But apparently there are meetings in Ottawa periodically to review these things and I guess that’s where we have to hit next.”
The Peacemaker will be open for public tours from Thursday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.