TSAWWASSEN, BC, Sept. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, along with the Honourable Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Minister of National Revenue, on behalf of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today announced infrastructure investments that will strengthen the border, improve marine container inspection capacity, and improve efficiency at Port Metro Vancouver (PMV).
"Our government's top priority remains the economy and creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in every region of Canada," said Minister Fast. "That's why I am proud to announce our Government's investment which will help increase our exports to new markets by moving goods, services and people in a more effective manner. These investments will also facilitate our growing trade and investment ties to fast-growing Asia-Pacific markets and build on our competitive advantages."
The combined investment from the Harper government and PMV totals nearly $106 million. As part of the Government of Canada's commitment to the Beyond the Border Action Plan, announced by Prime Minister Harper and President Obama, an investment of $49.9 million is being made in two new marine container examination facilities to meet the anticipated growth in container volume through Deltaport, BC. The Roberts Bank facility, located at the east end of the Deltaport causeway on the Tsawwassen First Nation Industrial Lands, is expected to open in the summer of 2015, and the Burrard Inlet facility is scheduled to open in the fall of 2015. These new facilities will help reduce processing times, resulting in savings for Canadian businesses, while protecting the health, safety and security of Canadians. These projects are an integral part of the container logistics flow in the Lower Mainland.
"These projects are a great example of what collaboration can accomplish. Together, the Government of Canada, Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) and Port Metro Vancouver are working to strengthen the security and efficiency of our gateway, while improving the environment and quality of life in our communities," said Robin Silvester, President and CEO of Port Metro Vancouver. "Once operational, the facility will reduce travel time and related emissions by a factor of 10 and since the facility is located on TFN lands, it is anticipated that there will be both construction and full-time employment opportunities available to TFN members."
"TFN is very pleased to be hosting this important Roberts Bank facility on Tsawwassen Lands. This investment will help position the Tsawwassen Gateway Logistics Park as the location of choice for the supply chain sector in the Lower Mainland. TFN's strong partnerships with Port Metro Vancouver and the Government of Canada are important to the success of this project," said Chief Bryce Williams of the Tsawwassen First Nation.
Investments in the APGCI have positioned Canada as the "Gateway of Choice" between Asia and North America, and the initiative is a key element of the government's pro-trade plan to open new markets that increase Canadian exports and create jobs and prosperity. In fact, Canada's west coast ports are more than two days closer to Asian markets than any other ports in North America. Since 2006, the Harper government has invested $1.4 billion into Asia-Pacific Gateway infrastructure projects, an amount that has been leveraged to almost $4 billion with the participation of provincial and municipal governments and the private sector.
Port Metro Vancouver, Container Examination Facility Projects
Port Metro Vancouver is Canada's largest port and almost 95 per cent of its total volumes serve Canadian import and export markets. PMV's Deltaport is the largest container terminal in Canada, handling approximately half of the containerized traffic that moves through Canada's west coast.
The total investment in these projects, shared by the Government of Canada and PMV, is nearly $106 million. The Government of Canada is funding $46.6 million under its Beyond the Border Action Plan to staff, equip and outfit both facilities, including detection technology tools and mandatory tenant services (maintenance and repairs). It is also providing $3.3 million under its Asia-Pacific Gateway and Trade Corridor Initiative (APGCI) for the Roberts Bank Container Examination Facility construction. PMV will build and maintain both facilities, which represent an investment of an estimated $56 million.
The projects involve the construction of two new Marine Container Examination Facilities (MCEFs) to meet current and anticipated growth in volume through the four terminal facilities located in the BC Lower Mainland. The Roberts Bank facility, located at the east end of the Deltaport causeway on the Tsawwassen First Nation Industrial Lands, is expected to open in the summer of 2015, and the Burrard Inlet facility is scheduled to open in the fall of 2015.
One of the commitments in the Beyond the Border Action Plan is the development of the Integrated Cargo Security Strategy, which is a joint Canada-U.S. strategy to address risks associated with cargo arriving from off-shore. It will facilitate the movement of secure shipments between Canada and the U.S. through a harmonized approach for screening inbound goods and expediting the movement of cargo across our shared border. The Strategy guides implementation of the principle: "cleared once, accepted twice." This cargo security and examination process will strengthen the economic competitiveness of both countries, stimulate job creation, and contribute to our mutual prosperity. As such, the new MCEFs will help reduce inspections at the land border, speed up cross-border trade and will move both countries closer to achieving the outlined vision.
SOURCE: Government of Canada
For further information:
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade
Port Metro Vancouver
Transport Canada, Ottawa
Canada Border Services Agency
Executive Assistant to the Chief
Tsawwassen First Nation
For more information on the Action Plan on Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, please visit the Web site: www.actionplan.gc.ca/border.
Follow the Canada Border Services Agency (@CanBorder) on Twitter and Public Safety Canada (@Safety_Canada).
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