Efforts are underway to have Partridge Island in Saint John further recognized for its national historical significance.
Part of Partridge Island, the quarantine station, is already a national historic site but Saint John historian Harold Wright wants the rest to be given recognition.
“Partridge Island is the guardian of the Port of Saint John,” Wright said.
A petition on the Government of Canada website is calling for the island’s military history and navigational aspect to be properly recognized. It’s also asking for the Port of Saint John to be named Canada’s first national seaport.
In less than 24 hours more than 500 people had signed allowing MP Wayne Long to bring the matter to the floor of the House of Commons.
“It gives Wayne more ammunition to continue to work with Fisheries and Oceans and Parks Canada and say that this is a story that we have to get told,” Wright added.
Long has consistently expressed his passion for Partridge Island and the desire to, once again, make it accessible to the public.
A study on making the breakwater leading to the island pedestrian friendly came back with a price tag estimate ranging anywhere from $27 million up to $40 million. Long said that made it a non-starter, but he continues to be optimistic about public access to Partridge Island in the future.
“We working certainly with the Department of Heritage, Department of Environment and Coast Guard to hopefully make that happen within the next year or so,” he said.
Wright, who has logged 23,000 hours exploring the island over 40 years, believes the national designations are necessary for the project to gain funding and move forward.
The deadline to sign the petition is May 11.