No. H038/03For release - May 1, 2003
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Transport Minister David Collenette and U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today signed a memorandum of cooperation to ensure the ongoing success of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. Specifically, the document further enhances binational collaboration on a comprehensive transportation study of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway waterway.
During a signing ceremony in Washington, D.C., Mr. Collenette said, "The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system is the result of a strong partnership that provides enormous benefit to both Canada and the United States. Planning to ensure the continued viability of this waterway requires collaborative approaches among the many stakeholders involved on both sides of the border. The signing of this memorandum of cooperation further enhances collaboration between our two agencies to evaluate the future needs of the St. Lawrence Seaway and the transportation infrastructure on which it depends."
"The St. Lawrence Seaway is a vital economic artery to the ports of America's heartland," said Secretary Mineta. "This memorandum of cooperation lays the groundwork for building a healthier, more efficient transportation system for this vital resource of Canada and the United States."
The efforts to develop a framework for cooperation, which this memorandum of cooperation represents, came out of discussions between Canadian and U.S. officials related to the U.S.-Canadian Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Review. The review will provide data for the environment, engineering features and economic conditions of the system, and will require close cooperation among five entities: Transport Canada; the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT); the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation; and DOT's Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.
The memorandum of cooperation signed today enhances collaboration between the U.S. Department of Transport and Transport Canada, and helps them to:
identify factors and trends affecting the domestic and international marine transportation industries;
assess current and future transportation requirements for the waterway;
evaluate the reliability and condition of the waterway, including the costs and benefits of maintaining the existing infrastructure; and
assess the environmental, as well as the engineering and economic factors, associated with the current and future needs of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system and the transportation infrastructure on which it depends.
A critical component of North America's transportation network, the 2,300-mile long Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system annually handles more than 200 million tons of cargo, contributes over $6 billion to the economies of both countries and directly supports more than 65,000 jobs in Canada and the United States. The region served by the system is home to almost 100 million people, roughly one-third of the combined U.S.-Canadian population.
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Amy ButcherPress SecretaryOffice of the Minister of TransportOttawa, Ontario(613) 991-0700
Tim DowneyU.S Department of TransportationWashington, D.CU.S.A(202) 366-0091
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