Canada's Transport Minister Marc Garneau this week promised to spend C$45.8 million for road infrastructure adjacent to the Port of Montréal to move Canadian goods to market. The project will address urgent capacity constraints at the Port on the St. Lawrence River.
A few days earlier, Garneau announced investments of C$15.5 million for three projects at the Port of Québec, in Quebec City, the oldest port in Canada, and the second largest in Quebec after the Port of Montreal.
The funding will come from the C$2 billion National Trade Corridors Fund, one component of the C$180 billion Investing in Canada Plan, the federal government's strategy for addressing long-term infrastructure needs in Canada.
"Our government is investing in Canada's economy by making improvements to our trade and transportation corridors," said Garneau. "We are supporting projects that will efficiently move commercial goods to market and people to their destinations, stimulate economic growth, create quality middle-class jobs, and ensure that Canada's transportation networks remain competitive and efficient."
A total of C$2 billion over 11 years has been allocated for the National Trade Corridors Fund.
Provincial, territorial and municipal governments, Indigenous groups, not-for-profit and for-profit private-sector organizations, federal Crown Corporations, Canadian Port Authorities, and National Airport System Airport Authorities are all eligible for funding under the National Trade Corridors Fund.
In addition, the Canada Infrastructure Bank will invest at least an additional $5 billion to address trade and transportation projects.
The projects are so needed to relieve mounting congestion. The three container terminals in the east of Montreal generate nearly 3,600 daily truck movements. At rush hour, nearly 3,500 vehicles transit to the Dickson and Notre-Dame intersection near the Port.
During construction the Montreal project will create roughly 460 jobs. When complete, it will provide a direct link between the Port of Montreal and the Trans-Canada highway to reduce urban congestion and ensure containers continually move from the terminals.
Canadian transport officials say the funded projects will:
- support economic activity and the physical movement of goods or people in Canada;
- help the transportation system withstand the effects of climate change and make sure it is able to support new technologies and innovation;
- address transportation bottlenecks and congestion along Canada's trade corridors; and
- increase the fluidity of Canadian trade around the world through ports, airports, roads, railways, intermodal facilities, bridges and border crossings.
In 2017, Canada's total international merchandise trade amounted to C$1.1 trillion. The United States is still Canada’s top trade partner, with $703 billion in trade ($415 billion exported, $288 billion imported), accounting for 63.5 percent of total Canadian trade in 2017.
The National Trade Corridors Fund is a key element of Transportation 2030, the Minister of Transport's strategic plan. The development of this vision, has been informed by insights contained in the 2015 Canada Transportation Act Review report as well as extensive engagement with Canadians from coast to coast.
By Sunny Lewis
Environment News Service (ENS)
May 18, 2018