RICHMOND, BC, Dec. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Vital channels in the Fraser River
in Steveston and Ladner will be kept navigable and continue to
facilitate economic activity as a result of unprecedented collaborative
work bringing together a $10 million joint commitment announced today
by Port Metro Vancouver, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the
B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Corporation of
Delta, and the City of Richmond.
"Providing clear, safe, local navigation channels is enormously
important to our communities," said Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Q.C., Member
of Parliament for Delta-Richmond East. "I am very proud to be a part of
this collaborative team and to be part of this important initiative,
which builds on the ongoing support of the Harper Government, to ensure
safe access to small craft harbours across the country. The commitment
announced today creates new opportunities for our government to
incorporate additional, complementary dredging work within the
Steveston and Ladner small craft harbours into its planning for
2013-14, which will help keep our local Steveston and Ladner small
craft harbours navigable."
The project will meet Transport Canada safe navigation requirements for
the largest commercial fishing and recreational vessels that access
these channels. It also includes funds for maintenance dredging for up
to the next ten years to promote sustainable economic and environmental
revitalization of the harbours and waterfront.
Port Metro Vancouver is the first port authority in Canada to provide
funding for local communities with waterways falling outside of the
main domestic and international shipping channels. Launched in November
2009, the program is part of Port Metro Vancouver's long-term dredging
strategy for the Fraser River.
"Through Port Metro Vancouver's Local Channel Dredging Contribution
Program, I am pleased to commit $2.75M toward this important
collaborative project," said Robin Silvester, President and CEO of Port
Metro Vancouver. "Together, Port Metro Vancouver along with municipal,
provincial and federal funding partners, is making an investment that
supports port communities and tenants, helps to protect existing
business activity, and creates an opportunity for new investment in
Steveston and Ladner."
"Local residents and business owners have told us that silt buildup on
the Fraser is a problem for them," said Transportation and
Infrastructure Minister Mary Polak. "We have listened and responded by
developing a collaborative dredging plan, including $3M in funding from
B.C., with the Federal Government, Port Metro Vancouver, Delta and
Richmond. Starting in 2013, new dredging will eliminate the growing
navigation hazard, helping residents and business owners, without
damaging the local environment."
Delta Mayor Lois E. Jackson said the channels contribute significantly
to the regional economy and local quality of life in Delta. "Dredging
these local channels, and the provision of funding for ongoing
maintenance dredging, ensures that we can continue to generate economic
benefits for our community. Having advocated for this project for many
years, I am pleased to confirm the Corporation of Delta's contribution
of $2 million towards the project and look forward to resolving this
long-standing issue in partnership with Port Metro Vancouver and our
senior government partners."
Richmond Mayor, Malcolm Brodie, emphasized the significance of dredging
to Richmond and particularly to the community of Steveston, home to
Canada's largest commercial fishing harbour. "Our history is
inextricably linked to Steveston Harbour," said Brodie. "I am pleased
that the first phase of this initiative for Richmond will fund dredging
to ensure Cannery Channel and Steveston Harbour continue to serve the
more than 1,200 vessels that use it every year." In addition, the City
of Richmond has committed up to $2 million in funding to support this
initial work and subsequent phases of this initiative in Steveston,
which are to be determined.
The funding partners would like to acknowledge the important
contribution of the Ladner Sediment Group, Steveston Harbour Authority,
Steveston Village and float home and marina owners on the Fraser River.
The dredging work is expected to begin in July 2013 following the
execution of finalized funding agreements between the partners and be
completed prior to the March closure of the available dredging period.
SOURCE: Port Metro Vancouver
For further information:
Media Relations - Port Metro Vancouver
Office of the Prime Minister, Ministers Regional Office
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Communications Manager, Corporation of Delta
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
City of Richmond