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Archived - Governments of Canada, British Columbia and partners deliver new infrastructure funding

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No. H 048/09
For release - March 27, 2009

VANCOUVER — The Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia, Port Metro Vancouver, TransLink, local municipalities, and the private sector are partnering to invest in excess of $225 million in five infrastructure improvements on the North Shore that will enhance rail and port operations and build Canada's Pacific Gateway.

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and Premier Gordon Campbell, joined key stakeholders in Vancouver to announce funding for projects along the North Shore of Burrard Inlet.

"The Government of Canada is proud to commit up to $75 million to these infrastructure projects along Burrard Inlet's North Shore through Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative," said Minister Day. "Most commodities imported and exported on the North Shore are directly related to trade with the Asia-Pacific region. Improving transportation infrastructure in this area will create jobs in the community and strengthen Canada's competitive position in international commerce."

"Our commitment of $62 million to these projects builds on the $15 billion in improvements Pacific Gateway partners are already funding to make Canada's Pacific Gateway the gateway of choice for Asia-Pacific shippers," said B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell. "The North Shore is a growing centre for trade and economic activity here in B.C. Through these investments we are improving access to ports and railways, and moving to seize the job-creation opportunities created as we strengthen our trading connections overseas."

"This is an excellent example of how building for the future with sustainable growth can be realized through cooperation among all levels of government and the private sector," said Robin Silvester, President and Chief Executive Officer, Port Metro Vancouver. "As an integral part of the Asia-Pacific Gateway, the North Shore Trade Area will not only result in significant community and environmental benefits, it will enhance economic development throughout the region."

"TransLink's contribution to road improvements in the North Shore Trade Area are totally in line with our ongoing program to fund and manage Metro Vancouver's major arterial road network in a way that promotes efficient goods movement and sustains a healthy economy in our region," said TransLink Chief Executive Officer Tom Prendergast.

"CN is pleased to be part of this comprehensive initiative to enhance the movement of goods through the North Shore Trade Area," said Jim Vena Senior, Vice President Western Canada. "These projects, combined with CN's ongoing investments in its own equipment and facilities, will help make the Pacific Gateway an even more competitive option for the movement of freight into and out of North America."

"Canadian Pacific is pleased to partner in the revitalization of Vancouver's North Shore Trade Area, enhancing the long term viability of Canadian potash, coal, grain, and other bulk exports," said Jane O'Hagan, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Yield. "This is an excellent example of government and the private sector working together to increase our global competitiveness through a world class port."

"On behalf of the North Shore Trade Area terminals, I applaud the Governments for their leadership in facilitating the improvement of the North Shore rail corridor," said Jim Belsheim, President of Neptune Bulk Terminals (Canada) Ltd. "These projects reflect the importance of bulk and breakbulk exports, which are fundamental to the future economic health of Western Canada and Canada as a whole."

"The City is very pleased to continue support of our waterfront industries through a project that will deliver significant operating efficiencies and capacity increases for those industries and economic development opportunities for Port Metro Vancouver and we are proud of the contribution that the City of North Vancouver is able to make to improve Canada's economic capacity," said Mayor Darrell Mussatto.

"North Vancouver District is pleased to be working closely in partnership with other levels of government, the rail companies, Port and industry on both the Brooksbank underpass and Pemberton overpass projects to achieve economic and social benefits for our waterfront businesses and the community," said Mayor Richard Walton.

On October 11, 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI), with an initial investment of $591 million. A further commitment of $410 million was made in Budget 2007, bringing total federal funding for the APGCI to more than $1 billion. In two years, the Government of Canada has partnered with British Columbia and other Western provinces, municipalities and the private sector, to announce strategic infrastructure projects worth more than $2.4 billion, including federal contributions of almost $900 million.

The Province of B.C. has partnered with public and private sector agencies to expand, upgrade and promote an integrated network of seaports, airports, railways, roadways and border crossings as Canada's Pacific Gateway. Together, in total value, all partners are investing $15 billion in improvements to make B.C. the gateway of choice for Asia-Pacific shippers.

For more information about Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative, please visit www.apgci.gc.ca.

For more information about British Columbia: Canada's Pacific Gateway, visit www.th.gov.bc.ca/PacificGateway/index.htm.

A backgrounder highlighting details of the projects being advanced is attached.

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Contact:

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-6186

Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
604 307-7177


Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/listserv/ and keep up-to-date on the latest from Transport Canada.

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Backgrounder

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. Currently, the North Shore terminals are estimated to generate about 12,300 direct and indirect jobs in British Columbia, earning over $600 million in wages annually. In 2008, terminal operators and railways in the City and District of North Vancouver paid approximately $10 million in municipal taxes.

In this context, the Governments of Canada and B.C. have been working with various public and private stakeholders on the North Shore Trade Area Study, which was completed in Fall 2008. The findings of this study were used as the basis for the development of an implementation plan that includes a package of transportation infrastructure projects along Burrard Inlet on the North Shore.

INDIVIDUAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS BEING ADVANCED

Project: Brooksbank Avenue Underpass
Location: City of North Vancouver / District of North Vancouver
Approximate Project Cost: $25.5 million
Delivery Agency: Port Metro Vancouver
Description: The Brooksbank Avenue Underpass project consists of modifying the underpass to accommodate several additional rail tracks necessary for port terminal expansion plans. The project would enable increased rail capacity. Access to Harbourview Park south of the rail tracks will be protected.

Project: Neptune/Cargill Grade Separation
Location: City of North Vancouver
Approximate Project Cost: $48.3 million
Delivery Agency: Port Metro Vancouver
Description: The Neptune/Cargill Grade Separation will eliminate the existing at-grade crossing in the vicinity of Low Level Road and 3rd Street East that provides access to the Neptune and Cargill terminals. This project will facilitate rail movements, reduce rail whistle noise, and improve road access for workers and emergency services.

Project: Low Level Road Re-Alignment
Location: City of North Vancouver
Approximate Project Cost: $59.2 million
Delivery Agency: TransLink
Description: Realigning and elevating the existing Low Level Road will accommodate two new rail tracks that are essential to port terminal expansion. This 1.5 km project will address drainage and slope stability issues, reduce train-switching noise, and provide separation between road and rail corridors that will improve road safety and port security. This realignment will also facilitate construction of the North Shore Spirit Trail multi-use pathway.

Project: Pemberton Avenue Grade Separation
Location: District of North Vancouver
Approximate Project Cost: $42.7 million
Delivery Agency: District of North Vancouver
Description: The Pemberton Avenue Grade Separation will provide an overpass across the Canadian National Railway rail line, replacing the existing Pemberton Avenue and Philip Avenue at-grade crossings. This will provide traffic relief to a projected 6,500 vehicles per day (in 2021) and reduce noise pollution in the local community while enabling Canadian National Railway to operate longer trains. The road connection to industries south of the rail tracks will also be improved.

Project: Western Lower Level Route Extension to Marine Drive
Location: District of North Vancouver, District of West Vancouver, Squamish First Nations Land
Approximate Project Cost: $86.8 million ($50 million in funding committed)
Delivery Agency: to be determined once all funding is confirmed
Description:Extension of the Low Level Route from Garden Avenue to Marine Drive near Park Royal Shopping Centre. This two-lane road, which includes a new bridge over the Capilano River, will provide significant traffic relief to Marine Drive at the Lions Gate bridgehead. The Province of British Columbia has committed $25 million in funding for this project. The Government of Canada is in discussions with the Squamish First Nation and other stakeholders regarding this project.

These projects will enhance rail and port operations, accommodate anticipated growth in rail and road traffic while providing local quality of life and environmental benefits, including:

  • reduced congestion on the local road network;
  • increased employment on the North Shore and throughout the Lower Mainland;
  • enhanced support for Canadian forestry, mining and agriculture sectors who export through North Shore terminals;
  • reduced noise pollution, such as train whistles at road/rail crossings and rail shunting;
  • expanded terminal facilities that will increase Provincial and Municipal tax revenues;
  • improved access to terminal facilities for commercial traffic;
  • more efficient rail operations and capacity to accommodate anticipated trade growth;
  • enhanced access to emergency service providers (police, fire, ambulance); and
  • increased capacity for public projects such as the Spirit Trail multi-use pathway.

FUNDING CONTRIBUTIONS AND ASSOCIATED CONDITIONS

The implementation plan is supported by technical and financial contributions in excess of $225 million from the following parties:

  • Government of Canada – up to $75.0 million;
  • Province of British Columbia –$62.0 million;
  • Port Metro Vancouver –$49.2 million (on its behalf and on behalf of some terminal operators);
  • TransLink –$5 million;
  • City of North Vancouver –$2.7 million (including $1.9 million in property);
  • District of North Vancouver –$5.6 million (including $5.2 million in property);
  • Kinder Morgan Canada Terminals L.P. – $2.5 million; and
  • Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway – collectively $23.7 million.

The contributions for the projects are subject to a number of conditions and requirements, including but not limited to the following:

  • funding and budgetary appropriations;
  • federal and provincial Treasury Board, Board of Directors and/or Municipal Council approvals;
  • acceptance of engineering standards and designs and confirmation of requisite railway approvals;
  • environmental assessment approvals; and
  • any other policy, statutory and regulatory requirements and approvals.

The Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor is a network of transportation infrastructure including British Columbia's Lower Mainland and Prince Rupert ports, their principal road and rail connections stretching across Western Canada and south to the United States, key border crossings, and major Canadian airports. The network serves all of North America, and is focused on strengthening trade ties with the Asia-Pacific region.

On October 11, 2006, the Prime Minister launched the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI). The APGCI brings infrastructure, policy, governance and operational issues together into one integrated, multi-modal, public-private strategy.

Canada is one of the most trade-dependent economies among the G-8 nations. The benefits of the federal government's contributions to the APGCI projects will extend nationally as they directly support increased international trade between all of Canada and Asia-Pacific countries, including China and Japan, and serve to make the import and export supply chains more reliable and efficient.

The Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia have been working with private partners to advance various initiatives to improve infrastructure, labour and service reliability of the Pacific Gateway.

PRIVATE SECTOR PLANS

Canexus is currently completing a $228 million modernization project to reduce environmental emissions and increase production while Kinder Morgan has just invested $119 million for new tracks and other capacity enhancement projects.

    • The railways will invest approximately $15 million in expanded and reconfigured rail tracks on the North Shore. Further rail investments from Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway in the Lower Mainland and throughout Western Canada will provide additional capacity for anticipated growth on the North Shore.

  • The North Shore terminal operators are collectively planning significant investment in the North Shore that could result in over $1 billion in additional investments within the next 15 years. For example, in June 2008, Canpotex, the world's largest exporter of potash, announced plans to almost double its West Coast shipping capacity with new facilities proposed in Prince Rupert and on the North Shore. On the North Shore alone, Canpotex's investments could range from $350 million to $450 million.

Many of these additional private sector investments are contingent on the implementation of these infrastructure projects. These private sector investments could result in over $5 million of additional property taxes paid to the municipalities annually.

NORTH SHORE TERMINAL OPERATORS

Name: Canexus
Location: District of North Vancouver
Major Commodities Handled: Salt, caustic soda, chlorine
Description of Expansion Plans Under Consideration: N/A

Name:Univar Canada
Location: District of North Vancouver
Major Commodities Handled: Ethylene glycol, caustic soda, ethylene dichloride
Description of Expansion Plans Under Consideration: N/A

Name: Western Stevedoring (Lynnterm)
Location: District of North Vancouver and City of North Vancouver
Major Commodities Handled: Wood pulp, lumber, machinery, steel, general cargoes
Description of Expansion Plans Under Consideration: New buildings and other capacity enhancing projects.

Name: Neptune Bulk Terminals
Location: City of North Vancouver
Major Commodities Handled: Coal, potash, specialty agri-products
Description of Expansion Plans Under Consideration: Capacity sustaining and improvement projects, including new structures and new rail tracks.

Name: Cargill
Location: City of North Vancouver
Major Commodities Handled: Wheat, durum, canola, barley, grain by-products
Description of Expansion Plans Under Consideration: Conveyor upgrades to reduce dust levels and rail system upgrades to reduce noise and graveyard unloading operations.

Name: James Richardson International
Location: City of North Vancouver
Major Commodities Handled: Grain products
Description of Expansion Plans Under Consideration: N/A

Name: Fibreco
Location: District of North Vancouver
Major Commodities Handled: Wood chips
Description of Expansion Plans Under Consideration: Not yet determined

Name: Kinder Morgan Canada Terminals L.P.
Location: District of North Vancouver
Major Commodities Handled: Sulphur, mineral concentrates, wood pulp, wood pellets, specialty agri-bulk products, liquid bulks.
Description of Expansion Plans Under Consideration: New storage tanks; environmental improvements; dock, ship unloading, storage and material handling and rail car handling improvements.

Other waterfront industries, such as Washington Marine Group and McKeen & Wilson, also contribute to the economic vitality of the North Shore.


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