Harper government further strengthens Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway advantages

Significant federal investment will create local jobs and economic growth, while facilitating the movement of Canadian exports to high-growth Asian markets

PRINCE RUPERT, BC, Feb. 23, 2012 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada today announced a significant ($15-million) contribution to the Ridley Island Road, Rail and Utility Corridor (RRUC) project at the Port of Prince Rupert. Together with contributions from the Government of British Columbia, CN Rail and the Prince Rupert Port Authority, this $90-million project will expand capacity and operations at the Port of Prince Rupert, a vital part of the world-class transportation network that makes up Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway.

"This project will create local jobs, economic growth and prosperity for workers and businesses, while supporting Canada's broad and ambitious pro-trade plan," said Minister Fast. "Investments in projects such as the RRUC are strengthening our competitive advantages and further positioning Canada as the gateway of choice for global supply chains between Asia and North America. As a result of these strategic investments and partnerships, Canadian exports to the Asia-Pacific region have reached record levels."

The RRUC project is a joint public- and private-sector investment that will provide road and rail access, along with utility services, to 1,000 acres of multi-user heavy industrial land that is accessible through the deep-sea terminals at the Port of Prince Rupert. The project features the development of a common user rail corridor, roads and access to port property. This infrastructure investment will solidify the development plan for the Ridley industrial site by creating the required transportation and logistical framework. Investments at the Port of Prince Rupert will support Canada's international trade with Asia.

"Building capacity at the Port of Prince Rupert is necessary for the expansion of Canada's trade with fast-growing Asian economies. This investment unlocks the sustainable development of port infrastructure and industrial waterfront that will benefit industries across Canada," said Don Krusel, president and chief executive officer of the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

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 RRUC 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


Ridley Island Road, Rail and Utility Corridor (RRUC)

The RRUC project will provide road and rail access, along with utility services, to 1,000 acres of multi-user heavy industrial land that is accessible through the deep-sea terminals at the Port of Prince Rupert. It will include the expansion of public road and rail infrastructure on port property to fully develop the project site. This investment will solidify the development plan for the Ridley industrial site by creating the required transportation and logistical framework, and consequently, expanding the port.

The RRUC is a joint public- and private-sector investment that will expand port capacity and efficiency in support of Canada's international trade with Asia. The Government of Canada will provide $15 million of the $90 million required through the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative Transportation Infrastructure Fund (APGCI TIF). The federal money will help fund the key infrastructure that the Port of Prince Rupert needs to expand its capacity. This infrastructure will also increase efficiency at the port. Other funding partners include the Government of British Columbia, which has provided $15 million for the project, as well as CN Rail and the Prince Rupert Port Authority, which together will contribute the remaining $60 million.

Of the $15 million the Government of Canada will contribute, $5 million will come from the mountain pine beetle component of the APGCI TIF. The RRUC will directly help the local and regional industry impacted by the mountain pine beetle infestation by providing a state-of-the-art multi-user export facility for products from this heavily devastated area. This will further assist the impacted region in diversifying its economy.

The APGCI was launched in 2006 to provide an integrated approach to international trade and transportation policy. The objectives were to boost Canada's commerce with the Asia-Pacific region; increase the gateway's share of North America-bound container imports from Asia; and improve the efficiency and reliability of the gateway for Canadian and North American exports. To date, the Government of Canada has partnered with all four western provinces, municipalities and the private sector to announce strategic infrastructure projects worth more than $3.5 billion, including over $1.4 billion in federal investments. The Port of Prince Rupert is an integral partner in the APGCI, and investments at the port contribute to a stronger economy in Western Canada and nationally, as well as to job creation in the region and increased trade opportunities with Asia.

SOURCE Government of Canada

For further information:

Contacts:
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

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