Transfer of the Port of Charlottetown to the Charlottetown Harbour Authority Inc.
Date: Tuesday, April 26, 2005
For immediate release to all outlets.
Shawn Murphy, M.P.for Hillsborough
Charlottetown, PEI - Transport Canada has transferred the ownership of the port of Charlottetown to the Charlottetown Harbour Authority Inc. (CHAI). This announcement was made today by Shawn Murphy, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, on behalf of Transport Minister Jean-C. Lapierre, together with Charlottetown Harbour Authority Inc. Chairman, Stan MacPherson.
"The management of this port is now in the hands of the community," said Mr. Murphy. "We know that the dedicated residents of Charlottetown will work hard to make this a viable and growing port. They know the port's future potential and how to make the port prosper for Charlottetown and Prince Edward Island."
The transferred property includes a wharf; two transit sheds, the approach road and harbour bed totalling 1,190 hectares. The transfer agreement includes a financial contribution of $19 million from the Government of Canada, to be used exclusively for operational costs and maintenance of existing infrastructure over the next 15 years.
The Port of Charlottetown is the largest common-user marine terminal facility in Prince Edward Island. The primary user of the port is the cruise vessel industry. Potatoes for export markets, aggregate - in support of provincial highway and construction needs - petroleum products and agricultural fertilizer are other major commodities shipped through the harbour and port. Cruise ship visitation has become popular in recent years and is expected to increase, providing significant economic activity for the provincial tourism industry.
"As the new owner, the Charlottetown Harbour Authority Inc. will now be able to develop and promote the port in order to make it a viable and dynamic business entity," said Mr. MacPherson. "We are confident that this port can generate significant economic activity and spin-off business for Prince Edward Island. Our business plan positions the terminal as a multi-user port, targeting higher utilization of the facilities by all users."
The CHAI is a not-for-profit local entity with membership from community stakeholder groups that has been established to promote the development of the Port of Charlottetown.
"The National Marine Policy enables ports to respond more effectively to the needs of their customers," said Mr. Lapierre. "The better use of transportation infrastructure in this manner will ultimately help increase trade, tourism and job creation."
In October 2003, Transport Canada signed a Letter of Intent with the CHAI to initiate formal negotiations to transfer the ownership of the public port and public port facilities to the CHAI. The Port of Charlottetown is one of Transport Canada's Regional/Local ports, which range from large facilities that support significant local and regional commercial activity to very small facilities with little or no commercial traffic.
Transport Canada's Port Divestiture Program was established in 1996 as part of the National Marine Policy, with the objective of transferring Regional/Local port sites to other interests. In some cases, ports are being transferred as operating ports; in other cases, Crown land and facilities are being transferred to interested parties for other uses.
Gerry Gallant, Consultant
Charlottetown Harbour Authority Inc.
Cruise Ship Visits