Nanaimo Port Authority (NPA) is one of 18 federal Ports operating in Canada. As a federal Port Authority, the Port operates under the Canada Marine Act to support Canada’s international trade objectives by ensuring commercially viable port operations with a particular focus on safe and security, environmental stewardship and community input.

Canadian Ports are self-sufficient entities which means they operate at no cost to the taxpayers, unlike our U.S. counterparts which are supported by local, municipal, or state taxes. Canadian Ports are eligible to receive project funding under federal government infrastructure programs, but their day to day operations are supported by the Port’s core revenue sources.

Canada’s trade is growing and our country is entering into a number of new and exciting trade agreements that will increase demands to move more of Canada’s natural resources through our port system. All ports, large and small, are enhancing their port infrastructures to address the demands of tomorrow’s cargo needs.

I would like to share with you a few examples of what NPA has been doing over the past few years to address our port’s competitiveness. In 2009 NPA decided to boost its cruise business by constructing a dedicated dock and welcome center. The Port secured both federal and provincial funding as well as using its port development capital and by 2011 built a new $24 million dollar cruise dock and passenger terminal.

In 2010-2012 the Port conceived a project to improve safety and security by upgrading the port’s patrol vessels. The first, NPA Eagle, was purchased after the Vancouver Olympics as it was used as a security platform for CBSA. In 2013 the port commissioned NPA Osprey, a twin-engine, specially designed patrol vessel. As a result, NPA is providing its stakeholders with comprehensive waterside security coverage within the port boundaries.

In 2013, NPA applied for short-sea shipping funding from the federal government’s Build Canada fund to address a new opportunity to develop an international container service between Nanaimo and Vancouver. The project was awarded $4.65 million which the port matched to purchase a mobile crane and to construct a new container barge berth to enhance the service. The port took delivery of its Liebherr 500 mobile crane this summer, and construction of the berth is expected to be completed by November 2015. The port is projecting the movement of 50-60,000 TEUs per year using the new short-sea connection.

It has been widely reported that 90 per cent of the global trade is moved by water transportation and Canada is a trading nation that will require competitive ports to meet the country needs. Nanaimo Port Authority, as the freight gateway for Vancouver Island, is working hard to ensure it has the necessary infrastructure in place to support our customers’ needs for the future.