Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Response to challenges and modernization of Ports the focus of Federal Review of Canada's Port System

Transport Minister Marc Garneau at Deltaport in Vancouver on Monday,
Mr. Garneau introduced a federal review into a range of issues
that are currently facing the Canadian Port 

The Federal government is about to embark on a review of the nation's Port Authorities looking at how the current system is working and if it is positioned to create innovation and compete in the global shipping environment.

Transportation Minister Marc Garneau introduced the new review Monday from the Deltaport facility in Vancouver, inviting a range of stakeholders to join in on a series of round table sessions, meetings and other consultation events to examine the full scope of the shipping industry at the Port level.

As part of the review process, the Federal government intends to hold talks and seek contributions from Indigenous groups, provincial and municipal governments, industry; academia and other experts; and associations/groups that have a particular interest in port activities.

Through his comments on the day, the Minister noted the importance of the ports as part of the nation's transportation infrastructure.

“Ports are a critical part of Canada’s transportation network and trade corridors, and need to remain innovative and competitive in today’s dynamic environment. I invite marine stakeholders and Canadians to provide input that will help shape the future of Canada’s port system, so that it continues to support sustainable and inclusive growth.”

The review period will run through the summer, with final submissions expected in September, with the wrap up of the consultation period to come to at the end of December of this year.

The findings of the review, which is expected to be completed in 2019, will identify potential policy, legislative and regulatory changes that will help Canada's Port Authorities to consolidate their place among the key players of the Canadian economy.

The Prince Rupert Port Authority is one of eighteen Port Authorities
across Canada that will be the subject of the Federal Government's
review of the Canadian Port System

The current system of Canadian Port Authorities were established twenty years ago, in Prince Rupert, much of the work of the Prince Rupert Port Authority has seen a significant shift from the early days of a few terminals for grain, wheat and break bulk operations.

With an increasing footprint on the Prince Rupert waterfront the Port of Prince Rupert has become the dominant economic player on the North Coast and across Northern British Columbia, hosting a range of terminal facilities, highlighted by the opening of the Fairview Container Terminal.

The development of that facility and its subsequent expansion has changed the local industrial scene significantly and put the Port of Prince Rupert on the global shipping map.

You can review the Minister's statement to set the table for the review here.

The Port Modernization Review is making use of a website that provides background to the consultation initiative and offers up opportunity for participation through comments and observations.

Among some of themes that the Federal Government is seeking comment on include:

What trends do you thin will affect the future of port operations and supply chains?

What role should Canada Port Authorities play in addressing these trends and the challenges they pose?

What needs to be in place for Canada Port Authorities to turn these challenges into opportunities?

You can access that Review here.

The consultation process may also provide the City of Prince Rupert a window of opportunity to once again share their concerns over port related caps. As well as to introduce other issues related to revenue delivery for local governments in host cities for Port development.

That has made for a topic for the City for much of the last few years and is particularly of note at the moment, as the City considers its Municipal budget process for 2018.

While the current issue of note is more of a provincial concern than a federal one, taking the theme of needing more resources for communities that are impacted by a federal port facility could make for a worthwhile discussion topic for the review.

For more items related to Port development on the North Coast see our archive page here.

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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