Canada Initiates Ports Modernization Review
Marc Garneau, Canada’s Minister of Transport, chaired a first roundtable in Ottawa May 8 with Canada Port Authorities to discuss the port authority system and what Transport Canada can do to ensure the country is well positioned to innovate and compete for years to come.
In the coming weeks, Transport Canada will host a series of roundtables and meetings with indigenous peoples, provincial governments, municipalities, broader domestic and international marine stakeholders, and Canadians. The roundtables are the next step in a review of Canada Port Authorities that was announced in March. The review will optimize their role in the transportation system as strategic assets that support inclusive and sustainable growth and trade.
The 18 Canada Port Authorities were created in 1998 to operate on a commercial basis at arm’s-length from the federal government. Canada Port Authorities handled about 60 percent of Canada’s commercial cargo volume in 2017. In November 2016, the Government of Canada announced a 1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. This national strategy is creating a marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians, while protecting coastlines and clean water.
Much has changed since Canada Port Authorities were established 20 years ago, a statement from Transport Canada noted, and change is expected to continue at an increasing pace.
“Ports are a critical part of Canada’s transportation network and trade corridors,” said Garneau. “They need to remain innovative and competitive in today’s dynamic environment. Collaboration with marine stakeholders and Canadians will help shape the future of Canada’s port system, so that it continues to support sustainable and inclusive growth.”
The ministry is soliciting comments from Canadians and marine stakeholders, more information on which is available here. The findings of the review are expected in 2019 and will identify potential policy, legislative, and regulatory changes to help Canada Port Authorities remain a critical part of the Canadian economy.