Government of Canada

Government of Canada
Government of British Columbia

Government of British Columbia

April 15, 2005 11:28 ET

Major Investment in Prince Rupert Port Expansion


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews



FOR: GOVERNMENT OF CANADA

AND GOVERNMENT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA

APRIL 15, 2005 - 11:28 ET

Major Investment in Prince Rupert Port Expansion

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - April 15, 2005) - The
Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry and co-senior minister
for British Columbia announced today that the Government of Canada
intends to invest $30 million to create a container terminal at the Port
of Prince Rupert. British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell also
announced that the Province of British Columbia will match federal
funding and increase its investment in the Port of Prince Rupert to $30
million. Both investments are subject to the finalization of necessary
funding authorities.

"The Government of Canada is helping to ensure that Canada's West Coast
becomes a major opportunity gateway for trans-Pacific trade, investment
and tourism," said Minister Emerson. "Investing in the expansion of the
Port of Prince Rupert is one of the long-term initiatives that moves
this gateway concept forward, creating new jobs and economic spin-offs
for this region, and for all of Canada."

"As Canada's only Pacific province, we have the potential to almost
double our share of West Coast container traffic and create up to 45 000
new maritime jobs over the next 15 years - and the expansion of the Port
of Prince Rupert will play a critical role in that," said Premier
Campbell. "The federal government's planned support of this project
shows that Ottawa recognizes its importance not just to British
Columbia, but to the national economy as well."

Premier Campbell said the provincial government has already committed to
invest $17.2 million toward expanding the port as part of the benefits
of the BC Rail Investment Partnership, and pending the finalization of
funding authorities, intends to provide an additional $12.8 million for
a total contribution of $30 million.

Located at the North American entry point of the North West
Transportation Corridor, the Port of Prince Rupert offers the shortest
land-sea transportation route to Asia. Today's announcement will help
improve Canada's competitive position in Asia by enhancing trade and
investment, and supporting Canada's competitive advantage in key
regions, sectors and markets.

"This planned investment is an excellent example of the Government of
Canada's interest in helping our ports to become destinations of choice
for the ever-increasing trade to and from Asia," said the Honourable
Jean-C. Lapierre, Minister of Transport. "This planned investment will
greatly enhance economic growth opportunities in north-central British
Columbia and Alberta, while assisting the Prince Rupert Port Authority
in expanding its capacity and strengthening its competitiveness."

"The Province of British Columbia has a vision for its ports and our
Ports Strategy is the plan that will make that vision a reality. Today's
announcement is part of an aggressive strategy to capture rapidly
increasing Asia-Pacific container trade," said British Columbia
Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon. "The work of federal and
provincial government and port industry partners is what has brought us
here today. I am confident that as we continue to work together we will
see even greater results for Prince Rupert."

The Government of Canada has supported the development of British
Columbia's transportation infrastructure with funding commitments of
approximately $675 million over the last two years.

"Western Economic Diversification Canada is working with communities
across the West to ensure that Canada is able to take full advantage of
the emerging economic opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region,
including trade and investment and tourism industry development," said
the Honourable Stephen Owen, Minister of Western Economic
Diversification and Minister of State (Sport). "Over the last three
years, Western Economic Diversification has invested over $4 million in
the development of the Port of Prince Rupert to enable northern British
Columbia communities to benefit from the growing cruise ship industry."

In addition, all levels of government have collectively committed over
$3.3 billion for British Columbia highway, rail, port and border
infrastructure to ensure that goods move efficiently within the province
and across Canada.

"This announcement by the federal and provincial governments, working
together to invest in Prince Rupert's marine infrastructure, is a
tremendous vote of confidence in the Port of Prince Rupert and assures
that the development of Canada's newest container facility will move
ahead as soon as possible," said Don Krusel, President and Chief
Executive Officer, Prince Rupert Port Authority. "It will create
enormous opportunities for northern British Columbia and ensure that
Canada's importers and exporters, right across this country, will have a
new and uncongested gateway to the Asian marketplace. We join together
with everyone who lives and works along the North West Trade Corridor,
which runs through the Port of Prince Rupert, in congratulating and
thanking both the federal and provincial governments for having the
visionary leadership to invest in our future."

The ports of Prince Rupert, Vancouver and Fraser River offer direct
access to North Pacific shipping lanes, providing shippers significant
cost and time advantages, and allowing for a competitive advantage in
servicing Asia's fast-growing markets.

This news release is available online at http://www.ic.gc.ca.

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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Office of the Honourable David L. Emerson
    Minister of Industry
    Christiane Fox
    (613) 995-9001
    or
    Office of Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia
    Mike Morton
    Press Secretary
    (250) 213-8218