The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, yesterday announced that the federal government will invest in modernizing the Port of Montreal and in the St. Lawrence navigation system, two important elements in the network that makes up Canada’s Continental Gateway.
The Government of Canada is investing in projects that will optimize the container areas in the Maisonneuve and Viau sectors, and increase navigation in the St. Lawrence Channel. These projects will help uphold the port’s strategic position as one of the most important ports of entry into Canada.
“The Government of Canada sees Quebec’s ports as a gateway to world markets,” said Minister Lebel. “These projects will give shippers a competitive advantage and facilitate trade in this region. The first project will increase the efficiency of operations at the Port of Montreal, creating jobs and stimulating economic growth, while the second project will make navigation in the channel more efficient and will benefit the ports of Montreal, Sorel, Bécancour and Trois-Rivières.”
The investments in the Port of Montreal and the St. Lawrence navigation system are a targeted action by the Government of Canada to keep trade flowing and Canadians working. Since the Government of Canada introduced the Economic Action Plan in 2008, Canada has recovered more than all of the output and all of the jobs lost during the recession. The investments announced today will create 110 direct jobs during construction and 150 jobs to ensure proper operations after the work is finished.
“The federal government’s financial investment in our infrastructure that is being announced today will significantly help address the current and future growth of the Port of Montreal’s container sector. On completion of the work in March 2014, we will have increased the port’s overall container handling capacity by 12.5 per cent, reaching 1.8 million twenty-foot equivalent units. It is also great news for marine industry-related jobs and the economic development of Greater Montreal,” said Ms. Sylvie Vachon, president and chief executive officer of the Montreal Port Authority.
Canada’s Continental Gateway is the busiest trade corridor in the country, carrying over 74 per cent of Canada’s trade by truck, train, air or marine. Since 2007, the federal government has invested more than $2 billion to improve transportation infrastructure in Quebec to enhance Canada’s international trade. These investments, including those recently made in the ports of Saguenay and Sept-Îles in Quebec, facilitate trade links with North American and global markets.
The federal government’s contribution to this project comes from the Gateways and Border Crossings Fund and will reach a maximum of $15.6 million.