Gateway Corridor News, Spring 2007
$1 Billion Commitment to the Gateway and Corridor
“At the dawn of the 21st century, no country in the world is better positioned than Canada to prosper in the emerging global economy. The Gateway Initiative is obviously critical to realizing our potential as a country.” Prime Minister Stephen Harper (May 4, 2007).
In an era of deeply integrated global supply chains, exporters and importers need reliable, efficient, safe, secure and environmentally sustainable transportation systems more than ever. The opportunity lies in leveraging Canada’s geographic advantages to connect North America with the rapidly growing economies of Asia.
Canada is seizing this opportunity aggressively. The Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI) brings together infrastructure, policy, governance and operational issues together in one integrated, multi-modal, public-private strategy.
Backed by funding commitments totaling $1 billion in two consecutive federal Budgets, a strong partnership is being built among the federal government, British Columbia and the other Western Provinces, municipal governments and regional transportation agencies, Port and Airport Authorities and private sector leaders representing all elements of the Gateway and Corridor system.
Since the Prime Minister launched the APGCI in October 2006, results have been achieved in construction, planning, project selection, port amalgamation, policy development, technology application, international cooperation and marketing.
At the May 4, 2007 International Conference on Gateways and Corridors, Prime Minister Harper announced that $800 million of the APGCI funding will be spent in British Columbia, in recognition of that province’s strategic role. Of the 10 new APGCI projects, six will be in BC and four in the Prairie Provinces. Details inside and on our website tell the complete story.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaking at the International Conference on Gateways and Corridors in Vancouver on May 4, 2007
Building the Gateway and Corridor Infrastructure System
New and additional funding for strategic infrastructure projects will enhance marine, rail and road connections and system capacity:
- South Fraser Perimeter Road: $263 million
- North Fraser Perimeter Road: $65 million
- Roberts Bank Rail Corridor road-rail separations and other improvements: $25 million
- Other BC Lower Mainland projects: $10.45 million
- Edmonton: new interchange at Highway 2 and 41 Avenue and road-rail upgrades to enable the relocation of the CPR intermodal facility: $75 million
- Saskatoon: Two freeway interchanges to improve access to CN intermodal facility: $20 million
- Winnipeg: Northwest Winnipeg Access Project Component 1: upgrading access with roadway, intersection and interchange improvements and rail overpasses: $33.25 million
Under the APGCI’s system-based approach, proposed infrastructure projects have been evaluated against detailed criteria pertaining to international trade volumes and multi-modal efficiency.
Total new federal investment: $491.7 million
Total project value: $1.87 billion
All the new projects are subject to funding commitments of all partners, completion of due diligence, contribution agreements and final federal project approval.
Promoting the Gateway and Corridor Overseas
David Emerson, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, led a Canadian delegation of private sector Gateway executives to Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai in early 2007. They presented Canada’s united vision for the Gateway and Corridor, heard the views of Chinese counterparts, and networked with Chinese business and government leaders.
During the mission, Minister Emerson signed an agreement with the Chinese Minister of Communications to foster cooperation on intermodal transportation gateways to support international trade.
Seven million dollars has also been invested in an International Marketing Program for the APGCI. It will take advantage of hundreds of skilled personnel at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. Trade Commissioners in Asia and the United States are gaining first-hand knowledge of the Gateway and Corridor, making them even more effective in promoting it overseas.
Using Technology to Move Traffic
Under the APGCI, $5 million is now committed to the Regional Transportation Management Centre for the BC Lower Mainland. The Centre will be a focal point for monitoring and managing traffic flows on major roads and transit systems to boost efficiency, enhance safety and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Transport Canada, the BC Ministry of Transportation and TransLink have developed next steps for the project, with a goal of having the Centre operational by late 2009.
Two-million dollars has also been committed for development of a Smart Corridors Strategy to guide the deployment of a range of technology-based systems to improve the movement of people and goods along corridors.
These are examples of how the APGCI is advancing Intelligent Transportation Systems to improve traffic flows, reduce emissions, and improve quality of life in communities through which increasing trade volumes move.
Keeping the Gateway and Corridor at the Forefront on Security
Canada has one of the world’s safest and most secure transportation systems and one of the most effective border programs. This is essential to our success as a trading nation.
The APGCI fosters an approach to security that reflects the integrated, interdependent patterns of international trade and travel along global supply chains and transportation networks.
Enhancing security in the context of the Gateway and Corridor is not new. A strong foundation exists,with a wide range of transportation security, border management and emergency management programs and initiatives in place and others being developed and implemented. This includes sustained vigilance in management of the Canada-US border.
The Gateway and Corridor particularly benefits directly from the extensive investments and advances in Canada’s national security sector since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
New Border Services at Prince Rupert
The Government of Canada is investing $28 million for a new state-of-the-art screening program to be implemented by the Canada Border and Services Agency at Prince Rupert’s Fairview Terminal. The terminal is on track to open in Fall 2007. (Artist’s rendering below.)
Private Sector, Other Governments Key to Success
Private investment will continue to drive the success of Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor. So far, at least $5.8 billion in private investment in Gateway-related infrastructure is planned between 2004 and 2010. The federal government is committed to policies that foster the right climate for this investment to continue and increase, while safeguarding the public interest.
As for public investment, most of the federal funds are being invested in partnership with other jurisdictions. This includes investing in the South Fraser Perimeter Road, which is BC’s top Gateway project.
By a conservative estimate, the $1 billion in federal investment will support projects worth at least $2.6 billion overall.
Port Authorities Working to Amalgamate
The three BC Lower Mainland port authorities continue to press ahead on joining forces in one new entity. Since taking up the challenge of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Lawrence Cannon, the Vancouver, Fraser River and North Fraser Port Authorities have been tackling administrative, legal and operational issues entailed in a merger.
A single port authority will be better equipped to operationalize Canada’s Gateway vision through greater efficiency, reliability and more strategic use of land and existing infrastructure.
Major Improvements For Rail Corridor
The APGCI has earmarked $75 million for the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor, a 70 kilometre stretch connecting major container and coal terminals with the North American rail network. It carries increasing volumes of international freight through five BC municipalities.
Transport Canada and stakeholders (including the Vancouver Port Authority, the BC Ministry of Transportation, Translink, the Greater Vancouver Gateway Council, Municipalities of Delta, Surrey, Langley, Langley Township, and Abbotsford, CN and CPR) completed a study to prioritize road-rail grade separations. Together with carefully selected road closures, network reconfigurations, and traffic management measures, these improvements will maximize benefits for motorists and railways, as well as for quality of life.
As a result of this close collaboration, an overall package of road-rail improvements of at least $300 million is expected in spring 2007, cost-shared among these partners. This element of the APGCI clearly demonstrates the power of the gateway concept and its focus on systems and partnerships.
Tapping the Supply of Empty International Marine Containers
Transport Canada, in partnership with the three Prairie Provinces, is studying the use of containers in Western Canada.
Phase I of the study examined the movement of empty containers and identified key issues and opportunities for improving the utilization of empties. Phase II, which will be completed in summer 2007, includes a more in-depth analysis of the key issues and creation of a business case for optimizing the use of containers in Western Canada.
System-based data and Analysis to Underpin Long-Term Planning
A key priority of the APGCI will be to secure accurate data, and carry out transportation system analysis to provide the foundation for long-term planning and strategies.
Traditional approaches have focused on individual modes of transportation. However, the gateway approach requires a deeper understanding of the system as a whole, in the context of North American and global trade flows.
System-based data and analysis are also essential to measure results, and support accountability for investments.
Partnership is a top priority for infrastructure investment. The Government of Canada will work with public and private sector partners and build on existing efforts, including the recent Freight Demand Forecasting project led by WESTAC.
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