Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway gets stronger

Completion of the Brooksbank Avenue underpass near Port Metro Vancouver will help deepen Canada's trade ties with high-growth Asia-Pacific markets

VANCOUVER, Feb. 22, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and Robin Silvester, president and chief executive officer of Port Metro Vancouver, today announced the completion of the Brooksbank Avenue underpass project at the North Shore Trade Area (NSTA) in Vancouver.

"Investments in the Asia-Pacific Gateway create jobs, growth and prosperity for workers and families in the region and across Canada," said Minister Fast. "The expansion of rail tracks at the terminal will mean more reliable and efficient services through Port Metro Vancouver, allowing the port to better serve its customers in Canada and beyond. These strategic investments and partnerships continue to position Canada as the gateway of choice between Asia and North America, build on our competitive advantages, deepen our ties in high-growth markets and contribute to Canada's global competitiveness."

The Brooksbank Avenue underpass is one of several infrastructure projects along Burrard Inlet's North Shore in Greater Vancouver that were announced by the Government of Canada in 2009. This project consisted of modifying the existing underpass to accommodate several additional rail tracks necessary for the port's terminal expansion plans.

The improved underpass will enhance rail and port operations, as well as accommodating anticipated growth in rail and road traffic. It will also provide environmental benefits, including reduced congestion on the local road network and reduced noise pollution.

"Port Metro Vancouver is Canada's gateway to the world's most dynamic economies and serves as a major economic generator for the nation," said Mr. Silvester. "Infrastructure investments like this one will facilitate future growth in international trade by improving the movement of people and goods through the Lower Mainland, while at the same time ensuring benefits to local communities."

"Canadian Pacific welcomes the completion of the Brooksbank project, which is a strong example of partners working together for the benefit of the global supply chain," said Jane O'Hagan, chief marketing officer and executive vice-president, Canadian Pacific. "This strategic investment allows CP to further its joint growth plans with various customers benefiting from this project."

Canada's West Coast ports are more than two days closer to high-growth Asian markets than any other ports in North America. Projects such as the Brooksbank Avenue underpass reflect the Harper government's commitment to create jobs, economic growth and prosperity for Canadian businesses, workers and families by pursuing new trade and investment opportunities with large, dynamic and fast-growing economies.

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has partnered with all four western provinces, municipalities and the private sector to announce Asia-Pacific Gateway infrastructure projects worth more than $3.5 billion, including federal contributions of over $1.4 billion.


Backgrounder


North Shore Trade Area — Brooksbank underpass

The North Shore Trade Area (NSTA) of British Columbia encompasses the transportation network along the north shore of Burrard Inlet. There are four federally funded projects in this area: Philip Avenue grade separation, Low-Level Road realignment, Neptune/Cargill grade separation and the Brooksbank Avenue underpass.

The NSTA is a significant economic generator of employment in the marine, rail and trucking industries. It also supports employment in various export-based industries, including agriculture, forestry, mining and manufacturing in B.C., throughout Western Canada and across Canada as a whole. In 2010, marine commodity exports from the NSTA were estimated at 28 million tonnes, with a value of $10.5 billion.

The Brooksbank Avenue underpass project widened the existing underpass on Brooksbank Avenue to accommodate several additional rail tracks. These new tracks are needed for plans to expand terminals at Port Metro Vancouver. The improvements will enable increased rail capacity while preserving access to Harbourview Park south of the rail tracks.

The federal government is contributing 50 per cent of eligible costs — up to $11 million — for the Brooksbank Avenue underpass, under the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Transportation Infrastructure Fund. The total project cost is $22 million.

SOURCE Government of Canada

For further information:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for
the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-7332

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news at www.tc.gc.ca/e-news or stay connected through RSSTwitterFacebookYouTube and Flickr to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.

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