Baird to create Oshawa Port Authority

    OTTAWA, May 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's Transport Minister, John Baird,
today announced his intention to create a Canada Port Authority (CPA) to
operate the Port of Oshawa.
    The Minister has sent letters to the City of Oshawa and the Oshawa
Harbour Commission proposing a framework to address Oshawa Harbour issues that
includes a strategy to resolve caveated land issues, options for a marina and
a process that will allow the parties to work together to address multiple
visions for the harbour.
    "Our government recognizes the importance of the Port of Oshawa and its
major role in the local economy. As a CPA, the port would have the tools to
contribute to national marine infrastructure and related trade objectives,"
said Minister Baird.
    A move towards port authority status would balance the interests of the
users, the Oshawa Harbour Commission and the City of Oshawa with critical
marine transportation needs. Currently the Oshawa Harbour Commission manages
the port and administers some of the port's Crown land. It is the only
remaining Harbour Commission in Canada. Strategically located at the eastern
edge of the Greater Toronto Area, the port serves industries with specialized
needs that are dependent on reliable, cost-effective water transportation.
    The Minister's decision to pursue discussions was made after considering
the positions of the City of Oshawa, port users, and local and regional
stakeholders, as well as the recommendations made in a report on the future of
the port that was prepared by the Honourable David Crombie, P.C., O.C. The
Minister has chosen to explore the option that best balances the interests of
all stakeholders and is consistent with the objectives of the Government of
Canada's National Marine Policy. The National Marine Policy provides that the
Commission may be continued as a Canada Port Authority or divested to local
interests where there is local agreement.
    Resolving the land-related issues with the City of Oshawa will serve to
reinforce the port's commercial role while allowing the city to achieve
significant elements of its vision for the Oshawa Harbour waterfront.



    National Marine Policy

    The goal of the National Marine Policy, which was announced on December
14, 1995, is to improve the efficiency of Canadian marine transportation by
rationalizing the port system, and placing decision making and operations in
the hands of users and local interests.
    The National Marine Policy identified the National Ports System, which
includes ports that are both financially self-sufficient and vital to domestic
and international trade. These ports are managed by Canada Port Authorities
(CPAs) made up of representatives nominated by stakeholders, including user
groups and various levels of government. This model makes Canada's major ports
commercially and organizationally efficient, allowing them to remain
competitive in the global economy.
    The Port Divestiture Program is a key initiative under the National Marine
Policy. The program seeks to transfer the ownership and operation of regional
and local ports from Transport Canada to other federal departments, provincial
or territorial governments, or local interests such as municipalities.

    Necessary steps to create a CPA in Oshawa

    Consistent with the requirements of the Canada Marine Act, the Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has the authority to create a CPA to
operate a port if the Minister is satisfied that the port meets the criteria
set out in the Act.
    Transport Canada has received a request from the Oshawa Harbour Commission
to be considered for CPA status. The department has assessed the port
according to the criteria identified in the legislation, and the Minister is
satisfied that the port:

    - is, and is likely to remain, financially self-sufficient;
    - is of strategic significance to Canada's trade;
    - is linked to a major rail line or a major highway infrastructure; and
    - has diversified traffic.

    As a result of this determination, the department will initiate
discussions with the City of Oshawa to resolve issues relating to land
    Once the matter of land ownership has been resolved with the City of
Oshawa, the Minister would need to seek federal approvals prior to issuing the
letters patent.

                                                                    May 2009

For further information:

For further information: Chris Day, Press Secretary, Office of Transport
Minister John Baird, Ottawa, 613-991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada,
Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Transport Canada is online at Subscribe
to news releases and speeches at and keep up to date on
the latest from Transport Canada; This news release may be made available in
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