Minister Garneau announces a ports modernization review to help shape the future of Canada’s port system

News release

March 12, 2018    Tsawwassen, British Columbia    Transport Canada

Canada’s ports play a significant role in the lives of Canadians. They link our companies to global markets, support competitiveness, and contribute to the economic activity of our communities. Even for Canadians living inland, many of the jobs that support middle-class families, and the products they use every day, depend on Canada’s ports and waterways.

The current port system has served Canada well in supporting regional economic development and international commerce. However, a lot has changed since Canada Port Authorities were established 20 years ago. This change is expected to continue at an ever increasing pace. This is why we need to re-examine the Canada Port Authority system to ensure Canada is always well positioned to innovate and compete for years to come.

Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced a review of Canada Port Authorities to optimize their role in the transportation system as strategic assets that support inclusive and sustainable growth and trade.

Through a series of round tables and meetings, this review will include engagement activities with Indigenous peoples, Canada Port Authorities, provincial governments, municipalities, broader domestic and international marine sector stakeholders, and Canadians.

Transport Canada wants to hear what Canadians and marine stakeholders have to say about how our ports can respond to current and future challenges and opportunities. The public is invited to provide feedback and input on the review. Information is available on the website.

The findings of the review, expected in 2019, will identify potential policy, legislative and regulatory changes to help Canada Port Authorities to consolidate their position as key players in the Canadian economy.


“Ports are a critical part of Canada’s transportation network and trade corridors, and need to remain innovative and competitive in today’s dynamic environment. I invite marine stakeholders and Canadians to provide input that will help shape the future of Canada’s port system, so that it continues to support sustainable and inclusive growth.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau                                       
Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • The 18 Canada Port Authorities were created in 1998 to operate on a commercial basis at arm’s-length from the federal government.

  • Canada Port Authorities handle more than 60 per cent of Canada’s commercial cargo volume.

  • In 2017, ports and marine shipping carried almost $90 billion of Canada's exports to world markets, and brought in $110 billion.

  • In November 2016, the Government of Canada announced the 1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. This national strategy is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come.

Associated links


Delphine Denis
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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