Canadian government to invest up to C$55M in modernization of Port of Sept-Îles in Quebec; upgrade to include construction of multi-user deep water dock equipped with two ship loaders as well as two conveyor lines

SEPT-ÎLES, Quebec , February 14, 2012 (press release) – The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, along with the Honourable Peter Penashue, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, today announced that the federal government will make investments to modernize the Port of Sept-Îles.

"The Government of Canada sees Quebec's ports as a gateway to global markets," said Minister Lebel. "The Port of Sept-Îles is a strategic port for Canada and an important component of Quebec's maritime system supporting trade, and its development will lead to jobs in the region, northern Quebec and Labrador."

"The benefits this new project will bring to the iron ore industry in the region will strengthen the economy for Labrador and Quebec, and will encourage growth for many years to come," added Minister Penashue.

"Today's announcement is the culmination of all the effort and work of the past few years on the part of the port and its private partners to build this strategic infrastructure for Eastern Canada. The new multi-user dock will have multiple important effects, as it will ensure the start-up of major new iron ore mines in Quebec and Labrador, the expected impacts of which will be key, with nearly 3,000 new jobs and more than $10 billion in investments," said Pierre D. Gagnon, president and chief executive officer of the Port of Sept-Îles, and Carol Soucy, chairman of the port's board of directors.

The ministers announced today that the Government of Canada will invest up to $55 million and will contribute to the construction of a new multi-user deep water dock at the Port of Sept-Îles equipped with two ship loaders, as well as two conveyor lines. This investment will help the port meet global shipping standards for the iron ore industry, which is the largest commodity shipped through the port to overseas markets. It will also boost the effectiveness and capacity of port operations. The Port of Sept-Îles is an important part of Canada's Continental Gateway system.

Investments at the Port of Sept-Îles contribute to a strong economy and represent targeted action by the Government of Canada to keep trade flowing and Canadians employed. 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. Over a two-year period, up to 1,000 new jobs will be created by the construction of the new dock at the Port of Sept-Îles, and up to 200 new jobs will be created at the Sept-Îles Port Authority to support operations at the new dock.

Canada's Continental Gateway is the nation's busiest trade corridor, carrying over 74 per cent of Canada's international trade via road, rail, air and marine modes. Since 2007, the federal government has committed over $2 billion to transportation infrastructure improvements in Quebec to enhance Canada's international trade. These investments facilitate trade links with North American and global markets.

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