GEORGETOWN, PEI, June 8, 2012 /CNW/ - The Honourable Gail Shea, Regional Minister for Prince Edward Island and Minister of National Revenue, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities today announced the transfer of the Port of Georgetown to Georgetown Port Inc. (GPI). The transfer agreement includes a contribution of $3.8 million from the Government of Canada to cover operational costs and maintain the Port's infrastructure.
"Today is a great day for the community of Georgetown," said Minister Shea. "This transfer means the port is now managed by those best positioned to ensure its ongoing success - people from this community, local businesses and port users. Our Government's investment of $3.8 million will help GPI to attract new commercial opportunities that will support growth and long-term prosperity for Prince Edward Island."
"Community-based ownership of this port will encourage economic development, create local jobs and help generate new business activity in Georgetown," said Minister Lebel. "This transfer is also an important measure to save taxpayers' money."
The Port of Georgetown is situated on a deep water harbour with facilities currently used for general cargo shipping and support to marine industries including shipbuilding, fish processing and aquaculture. The wharf is 290 metres long by 41 metres wide and supports four working berths with a minimum depth of eight metres. A 50 metre by 12 metre transit shed is located on the wharf.
GPI, a not-for-profit local entity comprising local businesses and community stakeholders, was established to promote the development of the port.
"We are excited about our port's outlook," said GPI Chair Tim Mair. "Georgetown Port Inc. will work hard to ensure the Port of Georgetown continues to contribute to the economic growth of this community and will be looking for new development opportunities in the future."
The Port Divestiture Program aims to transfer ownership and operation of Transport Canada-owned ports to other federal departments, provincial/territorial governments or local interests, including municipalities, which are better positioned to operate these ports in a manner that is more efficient and responsive to local needs.
In total, the Government of Canada has divested 488 ports since 1996, which has resulted in savings of over $470 million to Canadian taxpayers.
Canada's Economic Action Plan 2012 allocated $27.3 million over two years to support the divestiture of regional port facilities and the continued operation and maintenance of federally-owned ports. The renewal of the Port Divestiture Program will allow Transport Canada to continue its discussions with local interests on the future divestiture of port facilities.
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
Transport Canada, Ottawa
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of National Revenue
Transport Canada Communications
This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.
IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE ELECTRONIC VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL.
This news release is available online at: www.actionplan.gc.ca