For release - March 17, 2006
HAVRE-SAINT-PIERRE (Quebec) — The Government of Canada has transferred the ownership of the Port of Havre-Saint-Pierre to the Corporation de développement et de gestion du port de Havre-Saint-Pierre. Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, made this announcement today jointly with Julie Boulet, Quebec Minister for Transport.
In addition to the ownership transfer, Transport Canada will provide the Corporation de développement et de gestion du port de Havre-Saint-Pierre with $13,275,000 in financial assistance to rebuild the wharf and to facilitate the transition of port operating and maintenance activities over the next few years.
"I am delighted that the Port of Havre-Saint-Pierre has been transferred to the Corporation de développement et de gestion du port de Havre-Saint-Pierre which will now ensure its development and promotion," explained Mr. Cannon. "This divestiture clearly marks the Government of Canada's commitment to working with the Government of Quebec to the benefit of communities."
"Wharf renovations are quite timely, as a number of new users are expressing interest in the port," said Ms. Boulet. "I am inviting all of Havre-Saint-Pierre's economic stakeholders to work together in making this structure serve as a tool for major regional economic development and to ensure that this transfer takes place under the most favourable circumstances."
The transferred property includes amenities for receiving maritime service from the Lower North Shore, for supplying the fish processing plant and for tourist activities. The Havre-Saint-Pierre wharf is located between the marina and QIT-Fer et Titane Inc.'s facilities.
The Corporation de développement et de gestion du port de Havre-Saint-Pierre is a non-profit organization that was created to promote the Port of Havre-Saint-Pierre's development. Local stakeholders and port users have joined together in supporting the corporation's efforts to acquire the Port of Havre-Saint-Pierre.
"To date, Transport Canada has divested 463 of its original inventory of 549 ports", added Mr. Cannon. "In the process, Canadian taxpayers have saved more than $175 million in operating and maintenance expenses related to the operation of public ports, while allowing communities to ensure and develop the potential growth and profitability of their facilities."
Transport Canada's Port Divestiture Program, which was established in 1996 as part of the National Marine Policy, will draw to a close in its current form in March 2006. The department is currently reviewing all of its port programs, including a possible extension of the Port Divestiture Program.
Federal funding for this project is provided for in the existing financial framework.
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Robert GreensladeActing Press SecretaryOffice of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa(613) 990-6140
François-Nicolas AsselinRegional Director Communications,Transport Canada, Dorval(514) 633-2741
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