Government of Canada launches new Ports Asset Transfer Program - Building strong communities through local port ownership

OTTAWA, April 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today announced a new Government of Canada program to facilitate the transfer of 50 Transport Canada-owned port facilities to local interests.

The Ports Asset Transfer Program (PATP) is a proactive and structured program that includes engagement, sale and divestiture phases.  If a port facility does not sell, the program will offer the port facility for divestiture.

Key features of the new Program include:

  • specific timelines for negotiations and transactions with interested parties during the sales and divestiture phases;
  • broader criteria to allow new port operators to expand or improve ports;
  • flexibility for continued operations or alternate uses; and
  • the ability of Canada Port Authorities to acquire ports.

Sales and divestitures open up new commercial possibilities that allow port facilities to reach their full potential and maximize their contribution to economic growth, jobs, and investments in local communities.

Quick Facts

  • Funding for this new program was announced as part of Economic Action Plan 2014.
  • Since 1996, through its previous Port Divestiture Program, the Government of Canada has divested 499 ports, which has resulted in savings to Canadian taxpayers of over $470 million


"Our government understands the importance of these port facilities to the transportation needs and economic sustainability of their local communities.  The Ports Asset Transfer Program offers an excellent opportunity for interested parties to acquire a port facility and to develop it to take advantage of local business, community development and tourism opportunities."

The Honourable Lisa Raitt,
Minister of Transport

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Ports Asset Transfer Program

The primary goal of the National Marine Policy, established in 1995, is to improve the efficiency of the marine transportation system. One way to accomplish this goal is by placing port decision-making and operations in the hands of users and other local interests.

Building on the success of Transport Canada's former Port Divestiture Program (1996-2014), the new Ports Asset Transfer Program (PATP) is a proactive and structured program for the sale or divestiture of 50 Transport Canada-owned port facilities to local interests.

The PATP includes engagement, sale and divestiture phases. During the engagement phase, Transport Canada will communicate with other federal departments, provincial/territorial governments, municipalities, Aboriginal groups and other interested parties to provide information about the Program. This phase will be followed by the sales phase, where Transport Canada-owned port facilities are first offered to other federal departments, the provinces and territories and municipalities. If there is no expressions of interest from these organizations, Transport Canada will then seek expressions of interest from other interested parties including Aboriginal communities, non-government organizations, the private sector and individuals. The sales phase is expected to be launched in summer 2015.

The PATP includes specific timelines for negotiations and transactions with interested parties, and greater operational flexibility for new port facility operators including the possibility of developing port sites for desired alternative uses.

If there is no expression of interest during the sales phase, the divestiture phase will follow.  This phase could include a grant and/or funding contribution from the Government of Canada to help continue port facility operations and maintenance. 

Important notes:

  • Interested parties involved in the divestiture phase should be aware that funding support may include a condition that the port facility remains operational for a specified timeframe.  
  • Parties who consider delaying their participation in the program until the divestiture phase should be aware that Transport Canada cannot guarantee a port facility's availability after the initial sales period.



Port facilities available under the Ports Asset Transfer Program*

Newfoundland and Labrador  

Nova Scotia


Liverpool (Breakwater)


Lunenburg Pt (Breakwater)





Burlington Canal





Cap aux Meules

Owen Sound


Pelee Island


South Baymouth





Harrington Harbour



La Tabatière 

Berens River

Les Méchins




Fort Chipewyan



British Columbia


Bamfield West

Pointe-au-Père (Breakwater)

Bella Bella


False Bay


Hartley Bay


Kingcome Inlet








Rivers Inlet




The above list reflects the port facilities available under the Ports Asset Transfer Program as of April 24, 2015. Please visit for updates to this list as port facilities are sold or divested. Transport Canada reserves the right to change the number of port facilities available for sale or divestiture as the Program evolves.

Transport Canada is currently in negotiation with interested parties for the port of Cornwall. If interested in the port, please contact Transport Canada so that we can advise you should the port remain available.


SOURCE Transport Canada

For further information: Zach Segal, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, Ottawa, 613-991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055; Transport Canada is online at Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through RSS, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.

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