Vancouver Fraser Port Authority announced that it has received a commitment for over $100 million of funding from the federal government’s National Trade Corridors Fund to support infrastructure projects.
“As a Canada Port Authority, our job is to make sure the port is ready to handle Canada’s growth in trade, but we are also undertaking a number of projects beyond the port to improve the flow of goods and seek to alleviate the impacts of growing trade on local communities,” said Robin Silvester, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s President and CEO. “With this federal funding, we are able to take on five new projects that will enable us to continue this critical work.” The five funded projects include three infrastructure projects in Richmond and Surrey to reduce interactions between the community and road and rail activities by building overpasses and making other improvements in operations. Additional funding will support two studies that will look at how to move goods more efficiently throughout the Lower Mainland.
The funded projects were identified in the Greater Vancouver Gateway 2030 Strategy, a strategic plan developed by the Gateway Transportation Collaboration Forum. The forum is an ongoing collaborative effort to ensure the Greater Vancouver gateway is ready to manage growing trade, and its membership includes Transport Canada, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, TransLink and the Greater Vancouver Gateway Council.
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As Laura Dawson, Director of the Wilson Centre’s Canada Institute, Washington, DC, sees it, a combination of U.S. unilateralism, a softening demand for Chinese exports and imports and the Brexit fiasco, has resulted in global instability. To make matters worse, President Donald Trump will probably get re-elected in 2020 as there’s no viable alternative.
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Volumes of containers handled at the port of Vancouver’s terminals have grown substantially through past decades, increasing at an average rate of ten percent annually since 1995. Projections of growth up to the year 2040 are now predicted at about 8.0 million TEUs (or 20-foot-equivalent units), and to give some perspective, in 2018 Vancouver handled 3.4 million TEU’s. The port is deeply engaged in capacity expansion, either directly or in cooperation with private terminal operators, and it points to projects already approved or somewhere in the approval pipeline, designed to reduce the potential capacity jams. Capacity improvements are at the heart of an unpleasant row which has developed between the Port Authority and one of its larger tenants, GCT Terminals Canada. (more…)