Canada's new government takes steps to integrate B.C. Lower Mainland port authorities



    OTTAWA, June 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced the Government
of Canada's intention to amalgamate the British Columbia (B.C.) Lower Mainland
port authorities of Fraser River, North Fraser and Vancouver.
    As part of a coordinated effort with these port authorities, the
Government of Canada has issued a certificate of intent to amalgamate, which
requires these port authorities to combine and continue as one port authority,
to be called the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. This certificate was
published in the Canada Gazette, Part I on Saturday, June 16, 2007.
    "Integration of these ports is a key policy measure under Canada's
Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative," said Minister Cannon. "It could
also enhance Canada's competitiveness in the global trade environment, and may
be the most effective means of maximizing port efficiencies and optimizing
port planning."
    The issue of the certificate of intent to amalgamate and its publication
in the Canada Gazette, Part I is the first formal step towards amalgamation.
The next step will be the publication of a notice of the certificate of intent
in newspapers in B.C., which will begin a 30-day public comment period.
Newspaper publication and public commentary is part of a larger strategy being
pursued by Transport Canada and the port authorities to actively engage
stakeholders and to seek their views on the proposed amalgamation.
    "I am very pleased to see the progress our government has made towards
creating a more prosperous Canadian economy," said the Honourable David
Emerson, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway
and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics. "An amalgamation of these Canada Port
Authorities enables a corporate management approach to taking advantage of
emerging business opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region, and positions them
to better respond to changing market pressures."
    "This is a major step towards building a world-class gateway that is a
driving force in Canada's logistics chain," said Sarah Morgan-Silvester, Chair
of the Amalgamation Transition Committee. "We will be better positioned to
maximize regional benefits, mitigate impacts of growth, and lead
sustainability."
    In 2003, the Canada Marine Act (CMA) Review report was tabled in
Parliament. The statutory five-year review of the Act provided stakeholders
with an opportunity to present their views on the CMA as well as on the
overall functioning of the marine sector. The report suggested that changes
were needed to achieve the goals of the CMA, particularly as they related to
promoting and safeguarding Canada's competitiveness and trade obligations. One
broadly supported recommendation was that Canada Port Authorities be permitted
to amalgamate.
    On May 30, 2007, changes to the Port Authorities Management Regulations
were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II and are now in effect. These
changes add provisions setting out the process for two or more port
authorities to amalgamate.

    For more information please visit www.tc.gc.ca/pol/en/acf/vfpa/menu.htm




For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613)
991-0700; Jennifer Chiu, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of
International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the
Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, Ottawa, (613) 992-7332; Anne-Marie Bouchard,
Communications Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Ann McMullin,
Amalgamation Communication Team, Vancouver, (604) 665-9069; Transport Canada
is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at
www.tc.gc.ca/listserv/and keep up-to-date on the latest from Transport Canada.
This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons
with visual disabilities.


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