The Honorable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, along with the Honorable Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Minister of National Revenue, on behalf of the Honorable 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.