Canadian government creates port authority to operate Port of Oshawa in Ottawa; move reflects Harper government's goal of improving efficiencies in country's marine transportation sector by allowing ports to more fully pursue commercial opportunities

OTTAWA, Canada , February 15, 2012 (press release) – The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, and Dr. Colin Carrie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Oshawa, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced the creation of a Canada Port Authority (CPA) to operate the Port of Oshawa.

"Our government recognizes the significant role the Port of Oshawa plays in the local economy," said Minister Flaherty. "The creation of a Port Authority in Oshawa provides the certainty for businesses to plan and invest in our port, which will create jobs and long-term economic growth. This is a great day for the future of Oshawa and Durham Region."

"Oshawa is one of the few cities that can boast an airport, rail lines, an open water port and 400-series highways, making Oshawa and the region a great place to invest," said MP Carrie. "It's wonderful for the future of Oshawa and our region."

Currently the only remaining Harbour Commission in Canada and strategically located at the eastern edge of the Greater Toronto Area, the port serves a range of industries that are dependent on reliable, cost-effective marine transportation. The transition to port authority status will allow the port to more fully pursue commercial opportunities, while taking into account input from port users and other stakeholders such as the local community.

"This announcement is the culmination of the dedication, vision and hard work of many people, and marks a milestone in the life of the port by providing our current and prospective port users with the certainty needed for continued growth and investment," said Gary Valcour, chairman of the board of directors of the Oshawa Harbour Commission. "By honouring its promise to create a Port Authority in Oshawa, the government is recognizing the important role ports play in Canada's economy and that of Durham Region."

The creation of a CPA is consistent with the objectives of the Government of Canada's National Marine Policy, which seeks to improve the efficiency of Canadian marine transportation by managing Canada's major marine infrastructure in a commercial manner. CPAs operate at arm's length from the federal government and are directed by an independent board of directors. This model makes Canada's major ports commercially efficient, allowing them to remain competitive in the global economy.

The transition of the port to a CPA is the latest in a series of government actions to support an efficient, competitive national ports system.

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