By Keith Norbury
In a pre-budget submission to the federal government, the Association of Canadian Port Authorities is asking for more money on behalf of the ports it represents from the National Trade Corridors Fund, although the association won’t specify how much. The submission also seeks increased borrowing limits for infrastructure projects as well as more funding for green technologies, including electrification of port operations.
In response to questions from Canadian Sailings, the association said that the trade corridors fund is already over-subscribed by $1.2 billion. However, ACPA didn’t say how much money would be adequate, only that “with many projects not yet submitted, there is a clear need for the government to fill and expand this funding.” The association and partners have many more shovel-ready projects that meet the fund’s criteria “and can place Canada at the forefront of global trade and supply chains.” The submission says such projects “have been deferred to maintain liquidity in the face of declining revenues as a result of the effect of the pandemic.” It also says “infrastructure will be a key source of stimulus with immediate and long-term benefits.”
As for the borrowing limits, ACPA says they were established on a port-by-port basis over 20 years and set too low. However, the association didn’t specify an amount. Rather it regards the enhanced NTCF funding and higher borrowing limits as “complementary changes that will add up to infrastructure development.”
The association didn’t have a specific figure either for green technologies “as it would be hard to put a price or limit on these investments.” So ACPA is encouraging the government to fund “programs that encourage sustainability and innovation,” calling that “a competitive imperative.” The submission can be found under news and events on the association website, acpa-aapc.ca.