Gateway Corridor News, 2009 Edition

Forging Ahead During Challenging Times

The Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI) has moved quickly from words to action. Within two years, the Government of Canada had partnered with British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the municipal and private sectors to announce strategic infrastructure projects worth more than $2.6 billion, including federal investments of nearly $1 billion.

The Initiative continues to build on this momentum. Delivering on commitments, our continued development of the Gateway and Corridor system and greater focus beyond infrastructure are all dimensions of ongoing action. The system-wide approach to multimodal investment, policy and operations makes this public-private initiative a top priority for Canada. Why? Because it connects North America and the Asia-Pacific region more efficiently and reliably, benefiting local communities, the Canadian economy and Canada’s trading partners.

Budget 2009: Stimulating the Economy and Improving Trade, Safety, and Border Security

The Government of Canada’s Budget 2009 includes major investments that will have a positive impact on transportation and trade across the country and especially across Western Canada. Building on previous infrastructure commitments, Budget 2009 invests in a more modern and greener infrastructure by establishing a two-year, $4-billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund
for renewing infrastructure.

In addition to this Fund, Budget 2009 identifies $72 million to improve railway safety and $130 million to complete the twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway through Banff National Park. The Government will also invest $80 million to ensure that Canada’s shared border with the United States remains secure and that land border crossings are made more efficient by modernizing and expanding border service facilities. This will reduce processing time for thorough inspections and commercial shipments, as well as allow the Canada Border Services Agency to improve its infrastructure in northern British Columbia. This year, $14 million will also help implement a new security program for cargo leaving Canadian airports.

Construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road

On January 12, 2009, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, together with British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell, launched the construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road, a significant project designed to facilitate Asia-Pacific trade.

The Government of Canada will invest $365 million and the Province $635 million to better link port facilities, rail yards and industrial areas to Highways 1, 91 and 99. This new 40 km four-lane provincial route will also improve transportation links for local residents and industry while reducing traffic congestion from existing local roadways throughout Metro Vancouver.

“The South Fraser Perimeter Road is a concrete example of how two levels of government are working together to protect Canada’s economy today and strengthen its foundations for the future,” said Prime Minister Harper. “I am pleased that both levels of government were able to finalize an agreement this fall and that we now have shovels in the ground.”

Gateway Performance Table

In today’s economic times, governments, businesses and the workforce need to move forward together constructively to look at the whole range of performance and competitiveness issues in the gateway and corridor supply chain system. To that end, the federal government, with its partners, has established the Gateway Performance Table, a group of stakeholders, which met on December 5, 2008 and February 20, 2009. The Table was established to bring together key supply chain stakeholders in an effort to examine methods of improving efficiencies for the overall supply chain, with a view to providing recommendations to Ministers to ensure the competitiveness of the Gateway to the year 2020 and beyond. The Table, with its focus on longer-term best practices to position the Canadian West Coast to compete on a global basis, is a useful engagement tool that allows the parties to deliberate in an open venue.

A Better Use of our Waterways

On September 5, 2008, the Government of Canada announced investments of up to $20.9 million in five shortsea shipping projects in the British Columbia Lower Mainland. This represents a potential $42.6 million in joint investments with private sector transportation service providers. Shortsea shipping is a multimodal activity that incorporates the marine movement of cargo between points that are relatively close to one another without crossing an ocean, such as along rivers and coastlines, and on lakes.

The five projects are:

  • Fraser River Shuttle (up to $5 million to Coast 2000 Terminals);
  • Deltaport Shortsea Berth (up to $2.35 million to TSI Terminal Systems);:
  • Vanterm Shortsea Berth (up to $1.95 million to
    TSI Terminal Systems);
  • Mountain View Apex Container Terminal (up to $7 million contribution to Seaspan International);
  • Southern Railway of B.C. Rail Barge Ramp (up to $4.6 million to Southern Railway of B.C.).

This investment represents an important advance for APGCI and for British Columbia’s transportation system, contributing to a more productive and competitive economy, enhancing efficiency and safety, and reducing traffic bottlenecks and greenhouse gas emissions in the Lower Mainland.

Major Infrastructure Investments along Burrand Inlet's North Shore

In March 2009, the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia, Port Metro Vancouver, TransLink, local municipalities, and the private sector partnered to invest over $225 million in five infrastructure improvements on the North Shore area of Vancouver that will enhance rail and port operations and strenghten Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor. Through the APGCI, the federal government committed up to $75 million to these infrastructure projects along Burrard Inlet’s North Shore. The North Shore Trade Area provides a critical connection to overseas markets for export products and handles over 35 per cent of all cargo volume through the Port of Vancouver with a value of over $7.7 billion in 2007. (See map)

Freight Forwarders Networking Opportunity

In September 2008, the Government of Canada hosted representatives of the Canadian and Chinese freight forwarding industries and other Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative stakeholders at a networking event during the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) 2008 World Congress in Vancouver, B.C. Guests included members of the China International Freight Forwarders Association (CIFA), a national organization overseen by China’s Ministry of Commerce. CIFA represents over 500 members, including international freight forwarders associations from each province, city or autonomous region, 97 council members and 48 standing council members.

Leadership in the APEC Port Services Network

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, along with all APEC leaders, endorsed the APEC Port Services Network (APSN) Initiative proposed by Chinese President Hu Jintao at the Vietnam APEC Summit in November 2008. On November 3, 2008, the APSN Council unanimously elected Jerry Rysanek, Director of International Marine Policy at Transport Canada, as its president. Mr. Rysanek has been involved in negotiating many international marine agreements and treaties over the last 20 years and has an outstanding reputation among APEC member countries. In May 2009, Canada is hosting an interim meeting of the APSN Council in Vancouver.

The APSN promotes liberalized trade and investment and enhances supply chain security by strengthening economic cooperation, building capacity and exchanging information among port and port-related industries and services in the Asia-Pacific region.

Promoting Canada's Ports and Railways in the U.S. and Asia

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) led a delegation of representatives from
Canada’s major ports and railways on three business missions to the U.S. and Asia. Canada’s transportation network was promoted to some of the largest transpacific importers and exporters. These business-to-business meetings:

  • highlighted recent developments in Canada’s transportation infrastructure;
  • addressed Canada’s key position within global supply chains between Asia and North America
    from a reliability and efficiency perspective; and
  • presented the value proposition for using Canada’s ports and rail services and addressed any

Building on the success of this initiative, DFAIT will undertake more outreach activities in the U.S. and Asia in 2009.

Gateway Promotion Reaches 5,000 Air Sector Stakeholders

Building on the momentum of the air services trade mission to China led by Minister Emerson in
January 2008, DFAIT has actively promoted the air component of Canada’s Pacific Gateway. Three key international events were held in the fall of 2008:

  1. FIATA (International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations) World Congress in Vancouver;
  2. World Route Development Forum in Kuala Lumpur; and
  3. Air Cargo Forum in Kuala Lumpur.

Presence at the FIATA World Congress and the Air Cargo Forum was made possible through an innovative joint venture with Cargo Canada. These events promoted Canada as the North American gateway of choice for air cargo and passengers to more than 5,000 decision-makers from airlines, airports and freight forwarding organizations.

A Value-added Gateway

As Canada’s most advanced gateway strategy, the APGCI continues to lead policy on value-added services, which contribute to wealth generation, job creation and sustained long-term economic growth. The Government of Canada is exploring policy and regulatory changes that stimulate economic activity and encourage leadership and investment from the private sector.

The value-added gateway strategy focuses on helping Canadian companies to further exploit opportunities such as intermodal transportation, transshipping, warehousing, logistics, information and communications technologies, finance, and skills development. The Government of Canada’s support for the value-added approach is reflected in the 2009 Budget, which proposes changes to the tariff and treatment of international marine containers that would bring them more in line with regulations in the United States.

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Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway