International Trade Minister

International Trade Minister

Trade Minister promises last of needed funding to build Ridley railway corridor

International Trade Minister Ed fast announces millions of federal dollars for Ridley Island and hundreds of thousands for Rupert sewers.

The federal Minister of International Trade and the Asia-Pacific Gateway announced that it will be investing $15-million in the port’s Railway Corridor project on Ridley Island.

Fast says that the fast-paced growth of the Port of Prince Rupert and expectations of future demand from China for energy makes the investment in infrastructure that will help to increase capacity at the coal terminal a good idea. Fast says that this will have benefits for the entire country.

“The Asia Pacific Gateway is about all of Canada; its a pan-Canadian strategy . . . Prince Rupert and the Asia-Pacific Gateway part of that strategy are at the forefront of Pacific trade and critical to our country’s long-term prosperity. So the railway corridor project shows our commitment to moving that agenda forward,” said Fast at a gathering in Prince Rupert.

And the money will certainly move the project forward. The $15-million promised by Fast for the corridor represents the last piece of the puzzle when it comes to funding the $90-million project.

Both the Port of Prince Rupert and CN Rail are putting up $30-million each and Christy Clark came to Prince Rupert last September to announce a $15-million investment on behalf of the Province.

The Road Rail Utility Corridor will add two additional tracks to forma a loop around most of Ridley Island as well as another one that branch off from the loop towards the Ridley Terminals building. On top of that electric, road and water utility extensions “to help develop 1000 acres of deep-sea terminals.”

“This project is more important than ever, not only has coal seen record exports out of Canada’s northern gateway, but there is also great potential to increase these shipments and allow for other commodities to be exported,” says Minister Fast.

The CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority says the investment shows how Prince Rupert is has become crucial to the country’s future trade opportunities.

“In order for Canada to capitalize on that opportunity (China’s need for energy security), there is going to be a lot of work that is going to be required. There’s going to be a need to develop port infrastructure and ocean infrastructure to meet the demand that coming our way for trade with Asia. The spotlight is on this port and on this community to be the solution for Canadian trade,” says Krusel.

The mayor of the District of Port Edward. Dave MacDonald says that the federal investment is welcome news to him and to his community.

“I think it’s great. We needed the feds on-side and as I always say: anything good for Ridley is good for Port Edward. So I’m looking forward to seeing that shovel in the ground.”

Now that all the funding is lined-up , the port authority says that construction is expected to begin sometime later this year to be completed in 2014.