Harper government announces job-creating investments in the Port of Sept-Îles

SEPT-ÎLES, QC, Feb. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, along with the Honourable Peter Penashue, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, today announced that the federal government will make investments to modernize the Port of Sept-Îles.

"The Government of Canada sees Quebec's ports as a gateway to global markets," said Minister Lebel. "The Port of Sept-Îles is a strategic port for Canada and an important component of Quebec's maritime system supporting trade, and its development will lead to jobs in the region, northern Quebec and Labrador."

"The benefits this new project will bring to the iron ore industry in the region will strengthen the economy for Labrador and Quebec, and will encourage growth for many years to come," added Minister Penashue.

"Today's announcement is the culmination of all the effort and work of the past few years on the part of the port and its private partners to build this strategic infrastructure for Eastern Canada. The new multi-user dock will have multiple important effects, as it will ensure the start-up of major new iron ore mines in Quebec and Labrador, the expected impacts of which will be key, with nearly 3,000 new jobs and more than $10 billion in investments," said Pierre D. Gagnon, president and chief executive officer of the Port of Sept-Îles, and Carol Soucy, chairman of the port's board of directors.

The ministers announced today that the Government of Canada will invest up to $55 million and will contribute to the construction of a new multi-user deep water dock at the Port of Sept-Îles equipped with two ship loaders, as well as two conveyor lines. This investment will help the port meet global shipping standards for the iron ore industry, which is the largest commodity shipped through the port to overseas markets. It will also boost the effectiveness and capacity of port operations. The Port of Sept-Îles is an important part of Canada's Continental Gateway system.

Investments at the Port of Sept-Îles contribute to a strong economy and represent targeted action by the Government of Canada to keep trade flowing and Canadians employed. Since the Government of Canada introduced the Economic Action Plan in 2008, Canada has recovered more than all of the output and all of the jobs lost during the recession. Over a two-year period, up to 1,000 new jobs will be created by the construction of the new dock at the Port of Sept-Îles, and up to 200 new jobs will be created at the Sept-Îles Port Authority to support operations at the new dock.

Canada's Continental Gateway is the nation's busiest trade corridor, carrying over 74 per cent of Canada's international trade via road, rail, air and marine modes. Since 2007, the federal government has committed over $2 billion to transportation infrastructure improvements in Quebec to enhance Canada's international trade. These investments facilitate trade links with North American and global markets.

More details on the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund can be found here:

http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/policy/acg-acgd-menu-infrastructure-2170.htm

More information about the project can be found in the attached backgrounder.

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tc-main.htm. Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through RSS, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.

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Backgrounder


Port of Sept-Iles

The Government of Canada will support initiatives that improve trade while stimulating economic growth and jobs. For this reason, the federal government has announced that it will contribute up to $55 million to the construction of a deep-water, multi-user dock at the Port of Sept-Îles that complies with new loading standards in the iron ore industry. The project should be complete by March 31, 2014.

This project will make it possible to improve the performance, capacity and competitiveness of port facilities, to facilitate interprovincial and international trade, and to increase the competitiveness of Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Canada. It will also promote investment, economic growth and job creation, and will enhance the competitiveness of businesses in northern Quebec and Labrador by giving them more transport options. Construction of the dock will create 1,000 direct jobs for two years, and another 200 direct jobs thereafter to ensure its operation.

The improvements to port infrastructure, which are financed in part through Transport Canada's Gateways and Border Crossings Fund, will help improve the movement of goods. The fund supports transportation infrastructure projects to develop and operate strategic ports, trade corridors and border crossings in Canada.

These improvements also support Canada's Continental Gateway initiative, which aims to create a viable, integrated and globally competitive transportation system to meet the needs of international trade in a way that stimulates economic growth in Quebec, Ontario and across Canada.

The project, valued at $220 million, consists in building a new deep-water dock equipped with two ship loaders and two conveyor lines, in accordance with the latest standards and developments in the global marine industry.

Boasting diversified and efficient facilities, the Port of Sept-Îles is the most important mineral port in North America. It is on track to regain second place among Canadian ports for annual handling volumes, with more than 34 million tonnes expected in 2012. Its economic influence has been valued at close to 4,000 direct and indirect jobs, with annual economic activity of nearly $1 billion.

In 2011, the Port of Sept-Îles recorded its highest volume of activity in 30 years, with 25.9 million tonnes, compared to 25.1 million tonnes in 2010.

February 2012

SOURCE Transport Canada

For further information:

Pierre Floréa
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel 
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa
613-991-0700

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055


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