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What role should Canada Port Authorities play in addressing these trends and the challenges they pose?

about 1 year ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

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  • John Hawthorne about 1 year ago
    The Federal Government needs to issue a directive to all Port Authorities: do no harm to the people (Canadians) whom you are supposed to be serving.If it is left up to the individual Authorities they will naturally empire build while ignoring any negative consequences.
  • MWright about 1 year ago
    Our community has found PMV to be very interested in 'empire building' rather than putting the interests of the Canadians whose enjoyment of life, health, and safety are adversely or potentially adversely affected by their ever-increasing operations next to our Vancouver community. Transport Canada and government health and safety agencies and authorities need to be involved to protect, oversee, and ensure that Canadian citizens and communities are protected as best as possible by the Port Authorities, their operations, and the operations of businesses related to Port activities.
  • Mike Waites about 1 year ago
    The Ports need to be held to account and to show leadership. As does Transport Canada. When we first started complaining about ships in the Southern Gulf Islands (SGI’s) anchoring for extended periods and too close to shore, Minister Garneau’s office advised us that we should contact the Ports and that under special authorities given to the Ports by Parliament, the Ports report to The Cabinet. Well who in the Cabinet? The Port advised us that these issues were outside the Port jurisdiction- notwithstanding they had created the problem. Does this mean it is Prime Mister Trudeau? And why is Minster Garneau appointing boards of directors to Port Authorities if they do not report to him?Separately, our ongoing complaints to Pilotage, PMV and now Transport Canada (well over one thousand of them over the last 5 years) have been channeled into the Oceans Protection Plan. But there is no stated commitment, as part of the OPP, to stop practices that are harming people’s health. Why not? There has been no senior official from PMV or Transport Canada that has even taken the time to visit and experience, first hand, the damage that is being done in the SGI’s. It is shocking. There needs to be many other actions to address the growth trends in our Ports - open and transparent multi modal capacity expansion plans, which work in a coordinated way rather than us lurching from one choke point and crisis to the next. Grain companies, railways Ports and shipping companies need to work together and plan. This will increase asset velocity and rid us of the unnecessary costs being incurred in the SGI’s with extended ship dwell times.
  • dougblackley about 1 year ago
    The Port Authorities must accept that they are Canadian citizens above all, an that their actions have to benefit Canadians citizens first. Second place benefits would be Canadian businesses. They must not prioritize foreign or multinational corporate interests over the interests of Canadian citizens.
  • Kathryn Hawaii about 1 year ago
    The problem with the industrial parking of freighters in the Southern Gulf Islands is a side effect of over-concentration of commercial activity in the Port of Vancouver. A Master Plan for managing the marine traffic supply-chain has not been the result of full consultation with aboriginal and non-aboriginal, provincial and municipal authorities; therefore not valid representation. Such a Master Plan Framework needs to consider expanding our Northern ports of Prince Rupert & Kitimat and Stewart (opened in 2015); along with Vancouver Island’s Port Alberni, Nanaimo, and Victoria to help solve present day logistical problems.Port of Vancouver president and CEO Robin Silvester’s ambitious Port 2050 believe in confiscating Agricultural Lands Reserves (ALR) from Richmond and Delta to expand the Port and transportation infrastructure. Even if at significant peril to our environment, populations of migratory and over-wintering bird, marine mammals and other wildlife. The Fraser River Estuary Management Program was created in 1985 to protect the estuary, but dismantled in 2013 (by Conservative government). Now less than 30% of the estuary historic wetlands remain and dozens of its species from salmon to shorebirds are under threat. Prime farmland removed from the Agriculture Land Reserve (ALR) further diminishes our Food Security. Port’s oversight ignores the potential extinction of Southern Resident Killer whales with Environmental Impact Statement – Part 1 – Executive Summary dated Mar 2015 acknowledging significantly adverse impact with cumulative effects to remain significant harming these marine mammals (p 37). The Vancouver Port extensions uses material from ‘Project Construction Dredging’ and sand from the annual ‘Fraser River Maintenance Dredging Program.’ Much of the built-up infrastructure in the delta may collapse due to liquefaction, the result of seismic activity. We can do little to stop earthquakes, but it is time to acknowledge it can and will happen. Plan mitigating procedures accordingly. For example, given an earthquake similar to the one in1946 at 7.3M in Forbidden Plateau area NW of Courtney was the largest onshore earthquake in Canadian history that was felt as far south as Portland, Oregon. What would happen if it were to occur near the Port of Vancouver? This alone is justification for more geographically spaced ports. How to resolve conflicts that exist among the economy, environment, First Nations, and rural coastal communities? Implement risk assessments and environmental studies with deadline by end of March 2019. Assess the US model where US Coast Guard within Homeland Security, is also the Environmental Protection Agency enforcer, yet monitors all marine traffic. Can this model work in Canada?Sources: Canadian Geographic –July/Aug 2018 pp 32-44; Chamber Shipping Aug 9 ’17 letter to Yvette Myers, OPP Implementation; http://www.robertsbankterminal2.com/wp-content/uploads/RBT2-EIS-Executive-Summary-March-2015.pdf (p. 37)
  • Angelamcd about 1 year ago
    Port Authorities benefit financially from policy changes and therefore should only participate at the same level as all other concerned parties.
  • Recreation not commerce almost 2 years ago
    Give back the port Lands to the local authorities in order to develop it for the benefit of all local communities.
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    • ChrisShelton about 1 year ago
      During the last Great Economic Depression of the 1930's two of the three local Harbour Commission in what is now VFPA went bankrupt and were taken over by the NHB, which was replaced by the CMA and PA's.
  • garnetm almost 2 years ago
    Port Authorities need to work more closely with municipalities. The authorities can be very secretive, undermining municipal long-term transportation planning. Where conventional railway companies are unwilling to provide sufficient local service, authorities should be empowered to take over the trackage and operate port terminal railroads, as in the US, while also allowing municipalities to negotiate to run commuter rail and retaining Via Rail access. Port authorities should not expect free handouts from municipalities or other levels of government for truckways, unless support is also provided for improved rail access.
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    • Guillaume Vincent, Transport Canada over 1 year ago
      Thank you for your comment. As trade continues to grow, ports will need to maintain and create new community partnerships. The Ports Modernization Review is looking at how Canada Port Authorities can contribute to building healthy communities and better integrate local perspectives while meeting their commercial mandate.
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      • ChrisShelton about 1 year ago
        During the 'public planning stage' of VFPA's Centerm dock I had to point out that the Burrard Inlet Line, which connects CN to the dock, was not even mentioned in any of the planning documents. After i requested, under Access to Information, for the December 31. 1967 Master Agreement between NHB and CPR, the PA woke up, read the agreement, had the CPR move its tracks for port lands and then had CN lay down their track for storage yards and between rail right of way from Centerm and Vanterm. Oh by the way CN is the Ports preferred terminal rail operator. Transport Canada should start to provide a Terminal City Rail policy for the management of railway right of ways in Municipalities across Canada such that these rights of ways are reserves for rail and transit. This especially needed when these ROWs, which service industrial lands are replaced by trucks on municipal roads. The near abandoned ROW is still valuable for transit.
  • PSimons over 1 year ago
    PA should have an independent oversight committee of activities that is embedded in the process at the very beginning such as FREMP and BIEAP were. If that process was viewed as time consuming and overreaching then the resources terms, and scope need to be increased to be inclusive and fully funded to be efficient. FN prior and informed consent to PA land acquisition and land use has not been gained. The PA have the primary role in ensuring this takes place. The PA also has an obligation to be in compliance with Canada’s international agreements such as the Convention for protection of Migratory Birds in USA and Canada and NABCI, and the UN Biodiversity agreements. The tragedy is that shipping uses the same habitat, and critical habitat as defined by COSEWIC, that more than 80% of nonhuman species use. The conflict will increase as humans and wildlife adapt to climate change. The PAs interests and mandate, plus their own modeling and long range planning, limit their ability to truly change their planned harms.
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    • Guillaume Vincent, Transport Canada over 1 year ago
      Thank you for your comment. We have taken note of your ideas, including the one on how to strengthen the governance framework of Canada Port Authorities through greater government oversight and partnerships with key regional players.
    • ChrisShelton about 1 year ago
      the lack of oversight is due to CMA s. 7 which states that the PA is an agent of the Crown but its subsidiaries are not, and s. 24 puts restrictions on functioning under the Financial Administration Act. The FAA does not require an agency of the Crown to implement 'value for money' principles unless it is caught by the Auditor General or the Comptroller General. Making senior managers responsible to act fairly and implement value for money is needed PA's.
  • Roger Emsley over 1 year ago
    The mandate of port authorities needs clarification. Port authorities need to focus on the efficient operation of ports. The mandate should make it clear that ports are not permitted to be landlords. Vancouver Port Authority in particular has been acquiring land and now makes significant revenues as a landlord. This should not be permitted, it is not in the interest of terminal operators, communities or other stakeholders.
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    • Guillaume Vincent, Transport Canada over 1 year ago
      Thank you for mentionning the mandate of Canada Port Authorities. One of the core responsibilities of Canada Port Authorities is to manage lands, in a commercial manner, at arm’s length from the government for the purpose of providing port services. In general, port authorities lease the land to terminal operators and other port users. The Ports Modernization Review is considering how the Canada Port Authority model can better reflect and align global and local considerations while maintaining a strong commercial orientation in its day-to-day operations.
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      • Roger Emsley over 1 year ago
        Managing lands for port services, such as the actual terminals is one thing. Obviously it is expected that port authorities will lease out foreshore for container and bulk terminals. That does not mean that they have to build real estate empires as has the VFPA. Their recent acquisitions have included land in the agricultural land reserve, lands away from port terminals, lands adjacent to a rail line, warehouses etc. Port authorities do nor need to be in these types of ventures. Leave that to non-government entities who are much better placed to assess need and value for specific ventures. Part of the modernization review should investigate port authority land holdings and ask the question - what is the purpose. If it is not to run the actual port then they should not be owning it. The review might also consider why a port authority needs to own any real estate.
      • Susan Jones about 1 year ago
        The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) should not have the mandate to acquire and manage lands at arm's length from the federal government because the CEO and Board of Directors are not acting in the public interest. The VFPA has become a real estate organization instead of an appropriate leader of west coast trade. They even have a real estate division. Instead of focusing on valued Canadian long-term global trade and exports by bulk shipping, the VFPA focuses on the import of containers bound for the United States. Taxpayers have paid millions in infrastructure to fund containers bound for the US. Only about 10-15% of inbound containers are for the lower mainland. As a result of Vancouver's increasing growth of US-bound containers, the Vancouver area suffers unnecessary consequences of container trucks; air, light and water pollution; environmental damage to the globally significant Fraser Estuary; and loss of productive industrial lands, environmentally-sensitive lands and farmland. Environmentally-sensitive lands of Burns Bog are now used to stack empty containers. There is a deliberate lack of efficiency in the container business as Transport Canada refuses to credibly consider the economical alternatives offered at Prince Rupert and Ashcroft Terminals in B.C. The Asia-Pacific trade business has been corrupted with millions of tax dollars providing infrastructure for opportunists and vested interests working with the VFPA. There is a pretense that the port works in the commercial interests of Canadians and that there is a need for balance when considering environmental and social concerns. The balance was lost long ago and only lip-service is paid to environmental and social concerns.The public has no say. Civil servants remain muzzled when it comes to environmental assessments and Transport Canada continues to interfere with due public process of port activities.
      • ChrisShelton about 1 year ago
        If the PA's is to maintain a strong commercial orientation in its day-to-day operations then why are the citizens/property taxpayers subsidizing the lands of the VFPA?
  • Charlotte Dawe about 1 year ago
    The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is trusted with environmental responsibilities. But it is clear that the environment is of least concern to them. The responsibilities to manage and assess environmental impacts should be trusted to more credible bodies like the Fraser River Estuary Management Program (FREMP) and the Burrard Inlent EnvironmentalAction Program (BIEAP) on the recommendation of Transport Canada and with ample funding.
  • Micar about 1 year ago
    Adopt a more proactive, pragmatic and strategic role to achieve solutions to its needs by having a wider scope and perspective rather focusing only its existing ports and jurisdictions.
  • Roger Emsley almost 2 years ago
    Focus on port and terminal operations and making them more efficient, rather than building real estate empires
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    • Guillaume Vincent, Transport Canada over 1 year ago
      Thank you for your comment. Canada Port Authorities are regulated in terms of non-port related activities they can undertake, such commercial and residential real estate development. The Ports Modernization Review is looking at how Canada Port Authorities can contribute to building healthy communities and better integrate local perspectives while meeting their commercial mandate.
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      • Roger Emsley over 1 year ago
        What is their commercial mandate supposed to be? As a port authority it should be a singular focus on running Canada’s ports, our ports, as efficiently as possible without trampling and impacting local communities. Their mandate should not include building a real estate empire. It is not needed to run an efficient port.Port Authorities need to operate under the three pillars of sustainability: environment, socio community and the economy. Each of these three pillars must be given equal weight, not, as in the case of VFPA, by tilting it towards the economy with doubtful and biased business cases.You build healthy communities by respecting what each community values. In the case of the City of Delta a principal value is the environment that surrounds us. Delta aspires to be the Bird Capital of Canada. We host the most important ecosystem on the west coast of North America, Roberts Bank in the Fraser Estuary. It sits right on the Pacific Flyway and is critical habitat for millions of migratory and shorebirds and many other wildlife species. VFPA has consistently ignored Delta’s values and is now trying hard to gobble up more of the Roberts Bank ecosystem. They ignore community concerns, environmental experts, local bird specialists and community leaders and rely on a business case that has proven to be faulty.A problem is that certain port authorities - VFPA in particular - consider themselves autonomous. The Canada Marine Act allows for the Minister of Transport to oversee individual port authorities. Regrettably the Minister has declined to do so. Example: the Federal Government commissioned an expert review of west coast port needs.that study recommended that no further container port expansion take place in Vancouver until Prince Rupert’s facilities had been maximized. VFPA ignored it and the Minister let them do so. But that is only part of the problem. What is required is a complete restructure of the governance, because in the case of VFPA it is not working. The autocracy at VFPA has hindered ecological and ALR conservation. VFPA needs to start listening to government agencies - Environment and Climate Change Canada for example - rather than arguing with them. ECCC are the environmental experts, VFPA is not. VFPA needs to start listening to local and community concerns rather than claiming "supremacy" which they have done in the past. VFPA needs to start collaborating with other port authorities - Prince Rupert - rather than treating them as competitors. VFPA has stated it regards Prince Rupert as a competitor. That is not collaboration.The ports mandate needs to be structured such that certain aspects are carried out independent of the port authority. Therefore environmental assessments, project and business case studies should all be subject to independent reviews. Lastly port authorities should not be allowed to dictate terms of reference for reviews, which in the case of VFPA they did for Roberts Bank terminal 2.All of this means a complete restructure of the governance, including, reporting lines, roles and responsibilities, board membership, project reviews and project decision-making, regulatory (for other than port operations), community consultation, need for transparency and accountability. It is possible that this can be achieved by a different structure whereby the individual port authority is restricted to running its port operations as efficiently as possible, reporting to a separate agency that oversees.
  • BManners almost 2 years ago
    The non-governmental role of existing Port Authorities without political interference needs to continue. We have a group in Nanaimo who would like to gain control of a hands off enterprise which has since it's conception moved ahead to develop the entire property operated by our Port Authority. Let us leave the political groups and private business to exist as they are, as partners of the local port authority. I am proud that our current Board of Directors is made up of a spectrum of the residents in our community.
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    • Guillaume Vincent, Transport Canada over 1 year ago
      Thank you for your comment. While the Canada Port Authority system has proven to be strong, the Ports Modernization Review is considering how the governance model can better reflect global and local considerations while maintaining commercial day-to-day operations.
  • G_malkani almost 2 years ago
    Port Authorities should be under jurisdiction of the Waterfront improvement plan and should follow plans as mandated by city and province vs have conflicting roles like solely focusing on expanding airports. Port Authorities especially Toronto Port Authorities should have better public consultations and should focus on local communities, Waterfront revitalization vs solely focusing on Airport growth, which has become unsustainable. I would like to see The TPA report to Waterfront Toronto. I would also like to see more representation from stakeholders like Waterfront BIA, BQNA, YQNA or Sailors be part of the TPA board vs. Previous Campaign contributors for federal governments.
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    • Guillaume Vincent, Transport Canada over 1 year ago
      Thank you for your comment. We have taken note of your ideas to strengthen the governance framework of Canada Port Authorities and your suggested approaches for optimizing responsiveness to users and local communities.
  • Nadia Lapointe almost 2 years ago
    Have more space, maybe in different cities. Have more deep water Port. Have better railroad maintenance in winter.
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    • Guillaume Vincent, Transport Canada over 1 year ago
      Thank you for your comment. The Ports Modernization Review is looking at the tools and approaches that support smarter planning and growth at ports across the system.
  • Mary R Brooks over 1 year ago
    This question is best addressed by CPA Boards of Directors in setting port strategy, not by government in setting port policy. Since the commercialization of ports in the 1990s, each CPA should determine its own strategy. Governments are not particularly good at choosing winners and losers. The role of government is to set the scope of activities that may be conducted by ports, and the rules by which their commercial activities may be undertaken. It is also a role for government to support the nation’s trade interests, and impose any constraints it may wish to impose, particularly if the government chooses to use taxpayer funding to support ports in meeting the challenges they ports face, like adapting to supply chain digitalization or meeting public interest obligations like vessel air and noise emissions in port communities. The role of government is not to direct who will succeed or fail once the rules are set, but to monitor and enforce compliance with the rules applied to each class of port. At one time Canadian ports were held to be models of governance with a classification system that was logical; it is time to lead in appropriate, quality governance again.
  • Mary R Brooks over 1 year ago
    This question is best addressed by CPA Boards of Directors in setting port strategy, not by government in setting port policy. While the answer may be of interest to government, the future is speculative and fraught with uncertainty, particularly in an era when the words ‘trade war’ seem to appear in the media weekly, if not daily. Since the commercialization of ports in the 1990s, each CPA should determine its own strategy to succeed. Ports will, of course, ask for government for financial support on major investments if cash flow is an issue, but that then begs the question: Are there too many CPAs? Research I have done suggests the answer is yes, and that it is time for government clarify what ports are of strategic national importance, and which CPAs should depart this club. It has been 20 years since the ports policy of Canada was substantially revised and it is now time to make significants changes. I will be making a submission on this very issue.
  • trwalker over 1 year ago
    Canada Port Authorities should exceed environmental regulations (as per Green Marine environmental performance metrics) to protect the natural environment where they operate. (Note: my single submission addresses this 'trend' question - also see below). Canada Port Authorities have an obligation to comply with environmental regulatory agencies and socially to port communities to protect and ensure security of the natural environment where they operate. Most Canadian Canada Port Authorities currently recognized that Green Marine certification can effectively demonstrate environmental stewardship. Five Canada Port Authorities are already proactive at taking strategic initiatives to improve environmental performance (e.g., GHG emissions reduction, waste management, spill prevention, community engagement, and environmental leadership) compared to their Canadian peers. These Canada Port Authorities currently adopt measures which include mitigations and monitoring of environmental impacts (e.g., air, water, noise, sediment), wildlife protection, energy management, stakeholder participation, environmental reporting, and research and development. However, some Canada Port Authorities lag behind in taking initiatives to achieve sustainability. Canadian Port Authorities need to advance in environmental performance concurrently meeting the societal and economic demands. This federal reform along with provincial governments and organizations like Green Marine should assist Canada Port Authorities to move forward in achieving greater levels of sustainability.
  • Normandipasquale almost 2 years ago
    Have the community well represented on the Port Authority boards. Consider some minimum shipping level to maintain a port authority.
  • JDKameka almost 2 years ago
    Spread operational and administrative activities across Ports in different communities to allow greater activity in less urban communities. Improve the landscaping and create green areas around Ports so they support instead of deterring tourism and investment in the communities.