SAGUENAY, QC, May 29, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, on behalf of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, was joined today by Mr. Serge Simard, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier for the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region and Member for Dubuc, on behalf of the Honourable Robert Poëti, Quebec Minister of Transport, Mr. Jean Tremblay, Mayor of the City of Saguenay, and Mr. Richard Létourneau, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saguenay Port Authority to mark the official opening of the rail link connecting the Grande-Anse terrminal in the Port of Saguenay to the Roberval-Saguenay rail line and of the intermodal rail yard at the Port of Saguenay.
The 12-kilometre rail link and the intermodal rail yard at the Port of Saguenay will facilitate the transfer of goods from the railway network to ships docking at the Grand-Anse marine terminal. Traffic will be bidirectional.The new rail link will provide shippers with additional transportation options, increase the efficiency and capacity of port operations, and facilitate interprovincial and international trade.
The Grande-Anse terminal in the Port of Saguenay benefits from its deep‑water location, its industrial development potential, and its geographic location near urban services in the heart of a region that has direct access to the regions of Northern Quebec and has a number of heavy industries, particularly in the aluminum manufacturing and forestry sectors.
- The total cost of the project was $37 million. The Government of Canada provided $15 million from the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund.
- The Quebec government contributed $10 million from the Programme d'aide à la réduction et l'évitement des gaz à effet de serre (PAREGES) financed by the Green Fund as part of the Climate Change Action Plan.
- The City of Saguenay and the Saguenay Port Authority each provided $6 million.
- The $2.1‑billion Gateways and Border Crossings Fund has been established to improve the flow of goods and people between Canada and the rest of the world. It supports the Government of Canada's three Gateway initiatives (Asia-Pacific, Atlantic, and Continental Gateways).
"Our government's support for public infrastructure has never been stronger. We are committed to investing in infrastructure projects that focus on creating jobs and promoting long-term prosperity across Canada. The new rail link and intermodal rail yard will enhance the Port of Saguenay's efficiency, support economic growth for businesses and residents in the region, and greatly contribute to Canada's competitiveness internationally."
The Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
"By carrying out this project that is part of the objectives of the Maritime Strategy, we will increase the terminal's capacity and develop new railway operations that will contribute to support the region's economy. Also, the new rail link will be beneficial for the environment and could eventually reduce greenhouse gases by 20,000 tonnes annually. The Government of Quebec's Ministry of Transport provided this financial assistance from the Climate Change Action Plan's Green Fund that promotes reducing greenhouse gases by implementing intermodal projects for the transportation of goods."
Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier for the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region and Member for Dubuc
"Saguenay is located at a strategic crossroads between Northern and Southern Quebec. We will continue to make every effort to take advantage of this position in the areas of surface, maritime and air transportation. The Grande-Anse port facilities and the rail link are part of the upgraded highway system, which, along with Highway 175, make the Port of Saguenay the main gateway to the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region. Along with the Saguenay-Bagotville Airport, this infrastructure enables us to establish our status as a transportation hub and gateway to Northern Quebec."
Mayor of the City of Saguenay
"The start of rail operations at the Grande-Anse marine terminal is a historical milestone in the Region's economic development, and we are especially proud to have carried out this major project with our partners' support. More than ever, the Port of Saguenay can now fully take on its role of gateway to Northern Quebec, particularly for the purposes of Quebec's Plan for Northern Quebec (Plan Nord) and Quebec's Maritime Strategy."
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saguenay Port Authority
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SOURCE Government of Quebec
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; Anne-Catherine Couture, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Transport of Quebec, 418-643-6980; Media Relations, Communications Branch, Ministry of Transport of Quebec, Montreal: 514-873-5600, Québec: 418-644-4444, Toll free: 1-866-341-5724; Office of the Mayor, Chicoutimi, Quebec, 418-698-3330; M. Carl Laberge, General Manager, Saguenay Port Authority, 418-697-0250