The Government of Canada announces how it will change the way ports work to strengthen our supply chain and make life more affordable
October 11, 2022 Halifax, Nova Scotia Transport Canada
Canadian ports are an essential link in our supply chains to grow our economy, create good jobs for middle-class Canadians, and deliver affordable goods on time. It is a top priority for the Government of Canada to build the resilience, efficiency, and adaptability of Canada's maritime supply chains to deal with the rising cost of living.
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honorable Omar Alghabra, announced the completion of the Ports Modernization Review, which aims to advance the role of Canada Port Authorities and optimize their current and future roles. In a constantly changing world, ports need modern and flexible tools that will allow them to respond to increasingly complex challenges. These new tools will enable ports to remain competitive, efficient, and sustainable.
The Minister also announced that the government intends to introduce legislative amendments in the coming months to update the way Canada's ports are managed and operated based on the results of the Ports Modernization Review. The proposed legislative changes will achieve several key policy objectives, including:
- Adjustments to port governance and financial management to provide ports with the tools to unlock greater performance, efficiency, and productivity in order to be effective instruments of public policy.
- Ports ensure their continued competitiveness and are positioned as strategic enablers of trade and traffic given their central role as intermodal hubs that support supply chain performance and economic growth.
- Strengthen relationships with Indigenous Peoples and local communities through structured engagement to foster alignment of port development and operations, and advance reconciliation
- Ports assume a leadership role in advancing the greening of the marine sector by promoting environmentally sustainable infrastructure and taking action on climate change.
- Port safety and security further protects the transportation system from threats while ensuring that goods move efficiently through the supply chain.
- The proposed amendments will support the development of a new investment policy for Canada’s ports and port infrastructure to attract investment capital that is critical to the national transportation supply chain for decades to come.
The Government of Canada intends to update its approach to considering infrastructure investments of Canadian and international entities to ensure our ports continue to serve Canadians well into the future by remaining competitive and aligned with our economic prosperity and security.
Transport Canada will lead an examination of the complementarity of Canada Port Authorities with a view to supporting greater productivity of these key federal assets.
These upcoming changes will contribute to the government’s response to the Supply Chain Task Force’s recommendations, particularly around easing port congestion. The Government of Canada is committed to respond with both immediate actions and long-term initiatives. Today’s announcement is another step towards strengthening our supply chain.
“Thanks to the feedback gathered from ports, industry stakeholders, provinces, territories, and municipalities, as well as local and Indigenous communities through the Ports Modernization Review, we can now move forward to strengthen our marine supply chain and help Canadians with the rising cost of living. We plan to advance our current port system to be even more adaptable and agile, helping to build a more resilient, reliable supply chain system for both Canadians and our economy.”
The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport
Canada’s ports play a significant role in the lives of Canadians as they handle more than 88 percent of Canada’s international marine traffic.
More than 343 million tonnes of cargo were shipped through our ports in 2021 alone.
Launched in 2018, the Ports Modernization Review examined the port system to ensure it has the governance structure and tools needed to adapt to an increasingly complex operating environment, with a view to supporting trade, Canadians and stakeholders. During the Review, Transport Canada considered how potential policy, legislative, and regulatory changes could assist Canada’s Port Authorities to consolidate their position as key players in the Canadian economy. All actions taken as a result of the Ports Modernization Review will support Canada’s economic recovery and are essential to continued economic development and growth.
The Ports Modernization Review gathered input from important stakeholders, including Canada Port Authorities, local and Indigenous communities, industry representatives, labour groups, provincial and municipal governments, and the public.
Transport Canada released a What We Heard Report in October 2020 that summarized the feedback collected during the Review’s engagement process.
As set out in the Canada Marine Act, the Canada Port Authorities (CPAs) must be financially self-sufficient. They don’t receive federal funding to meet operating costs or deficits. CPAs finance their capital projects using their own revenues. But they can also collaborate with the private sector, borrow from a commercial lender or apply for certain federal contributions related to infrastructure, the environment or security.
Press Secretary and Communication Advisor
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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