The Government of Canada will invest a maximum of $15.6 million in projects that will optimize the container areas in the Maisonneuve and Viau sectors of Port of Montreal, and will modernize navigation in the St. Lawrence Channel between Quebec and Montreal. The purpose of the latter investment is to allow vessels to navigate this section of the St. Lawrence river at drafts that are closer to the depths of the navigation channel.

The first project will increase the efficiency of operations at Port of Montreal while the second project will make navigation in the channel more cost-efficient and will benefit the ports of Montreal, Sorel, Bécancour and Trois-Rivières. The project in the Maisonneuve sector at Port of Montreal will involve the relocation of several buildings, thereby increasing container handling capacity by 50,000 TEUs to 520,000 TEUs. The second phase of the same project consists of turning a bulk area into a container area in the Viau sector. This phase will involve the demolition of buildings, and integrating the new area with the adjacent railway tracks. The new space will be able to accommodate up to 150,000 containers. The budgeted cost of this project at the Port is $39.2 million, of which $15.1 million is expected to be contributed by the federal government.

“The federal government’s financial investment in our infrastructure that is being announced today will significantly help address the current and future growth of Port of Montreal’s container sector. On completion of the work in March 2014, we will have increased the port’s overall container-handling capacity by 12.5 per cent, reaching 1.8 million twenty-foot equivalent units. It is also great news for marine industry-related jobs and the economic development of Greater Montreal,” said Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of Montreal Port Authority.

Canada’s Continental Gateway is the busiest trade corridor in the country, carrying over 74 per cent of Canada’s trade by truck, train, air or marine.