Minister of Transport Marc Garneau was in Delta on March 12 to announce the federal government will review Canada’s port authorities to “optimize their role in the transportation system as strategic assets that support inclusive and sustainable growth and trade.” Results of the review are expected in 2019. (James Smith photo)

Port of Prince Rupert welcomes Garneau announcement

Review intended to optimize Canadian port operations

The Port of Prince Rupert is welcoming the announcement this morning at Deltaport, by federal Minister of Transport Marc Garneau, which plans to review areas such as port sustainability, automation technology, data exchange and security to ensure facilities are able to support new growth and trade opportunities.

“The current port system has served Canada well […] but the operating landscape for ports has changed significantly over the past 20 years, and we can expect that operating landscape to continue to evolve, bringing new challenges and opportunities,” Garneau said at today’s announcement.

The Port of Prince Rupert (PRPA) said in statement in response to Garneau’s announcement that they look forward to engaging in the process.

“As a vital gateway for Canadian trade, the Port of Prince Rupert shipped 24 million tonnes of cargo in 2017, representing more than $35 billion worth of international trade. In the process, the port has been a significant generator of economic activity supporting over 3,100 direct jobs throughout northern British Columbia,” said the PRPA in its statement.

“Significant investments in marine safety, environmental stewardship and community health have established the Port of Prince Rupert as an example of how Canadian ports can be developed in a responsible, sustainable manner. In addition to industry-leading examples of First Nations engagement and alignment, a decade of successful growth and diversification has enabled the Port to allocate $7 million to local improvement projects through its innovative Community Investment Fund.”

The review of Canada’s port authorities is intended to optimize their role in the transportation system. According to a Transport Canada press release, it will include engagement “with Indigenous peoples, Canada Port Authorities, provincial governments, municipalities, broader domestic and international marine sector stakeholders and Canadians” through a series of round tables and meetings.

“The Port of Prince Rupert welcomes the opportunity to share its accomplishments and challenges, with an eye to ensuring Canada’s ports have the best framework for advancing these priorities,” PRPA stated.

“Prince Rupert’s role in facilitating Canadian trade will continue to grow in 2018. Recent expansion of the Fairview Container Terminal saw the Port of Prince Rupert’s capacity for containerized cargoes increase to 1.35 million TEUs. Current plans will see terminal capacity double to 2.7 million TEUs by 2024, with further expansion potential under investigation. The port will also see the commissioning of AltaGas’ Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal in early 2019, providing an export solution for Canada’s growing energy sector.”

Canada Port Authorities was established in 1998 and is made up of 18 ports throughout Canada, including four in B.C.: Vancouver-Fraser, Nanaimo, Prince Rupert and Port Alberni.

The results of the review will be released in 2019 and will help Canada Port Authority with identifying potential policy, legislative and regulatory changes.

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-with files from Evan Hadegorn

For more information about the review and to give feedback about Canada’s ports, visit letstalktransportation.ca/ports-modernization-review.

With files from Evan Hagedorn

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