Parliamentary Secretary To Minister Of Transport, Infrastructure And Communities, Pierre Poilievre, Meets U.S. Opinion Leaders To Discuss Protection For Jobs And The Environment On The Great Lakes And St. Lawrence Seaway

OTTAWA, Nov. 18, 2011 /CNW/ - Today Pierre Poilievre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, met with American industry and political leaders in New York City to discuss Canada's concerns about the economic and environmental impacts of upcoming unachievable New York State requirements for ships' ballast water. Parliamentary Secretary Poilievre's meetings included discussions with State Senator Diane J. Savino, representatives of the New York Shipping Association, as well as other meetings with state and local officials, and marine industry stakeholders.

"Today's meetings focused on the benefits of acting now on Canada's international approach to ballast water management," said Parliamentary Secretary Poilievre. "Under the terms of an international convention to which Canada is a party, 68,000 ships worldwide are expected to install ballast water treatment technology at an estimated cost of $1 million per ship on average. Years of technology development have produced safe, internationally approved technologies to shield our shared waters from invasive species."

Canada is concerned that implementing New York's unachievable requirements will have devastating effects on the economy, while at the same time delaying environmental protection. If enforced on ships transiting New York's waters in the St. Lawrence Seaway, they could affect almost $11 billion in business revenue and over 72,000 jobs in Canada and the United States. Canada's trade with the Port of New York and New Jersey would also be stopped.

New York State Senator Diane J. Savino said, "As the New York State Senator that represents the entrance of New York Harbor, I would like to thank the Parliamentary Secretary for coming to Staten Island to discuss with the Albany delegation and local business the issues surrounding ballast water regulations. Protecting New York's extensive waterways continues to be a major priority for me. I look forward to working together with Canada on our common interests to advance achievable ballast water standards in New York State that will ensure environmental conservation while promoting jobs and the North American maritime economy."

Mr. Joseph Curto, president of the New York Shipping Association, said, "The New York Shipping Association shares the position of the Government of Canada on the ballast water regulations in the State of New York. We believe there is a need for an achievable federal standard which will protect both the environment and maritime commerce. We look forward to co-operating on this important issue."

"Canada values the long-standing co-operation we have enjoyed with the U.S. in managing our shared waters. The time is now to work together to find a compatible approach to ballast water regulation that is practical and protective to the satisfaction of all regulators," Parliamentary Secretary Poilievre said.

More information on ballast water can be found at:

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SOURCE Transport Canada

For further information:

Pierre Floréa
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
      Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa



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