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Ottawa completes ports modernisation review, intends to update how Canada’s ports are managed

Transport Canada launched a ports modernization review in March 2018 with an aim to optimise the current and future role of Canada’s 17 port authorities (CPAs) in the country’s transportation system. The review focused on how ports might better support the competitiveness of Canada’s economy by facilitating the movement of goods; strengthen relationships with Indigenous peoples and local communities; promote environmentally sustainable infrastructure and operations; enhance port safety and security; and optimise governance and financial management.

The Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra announced last week that the Government of Canada intends to introduce legislative amendments in the coming months to update how Canada’s ports are managed and operated based on the results of the review. The proposed legislative amendments will deliver on policy objectives related to the main areas of focus through the review, as listed above.

The government also plans to develop a policy framework that will guide investments in port infrastructure.

These actions will also help to establish a strong foundation to build on the recently released recommendations of the National Supply Chain Task Force, particularly around easing port congestion.

A report expressed the task force’s “urgent call to address Canada’s transportation supply chain crisis.” It noted that changing trade patterns, disruptions, geopolitical risk and other factors “have exposed and exacerbated longstanding weaknesses in the Canadian transportation supply chain.” The report includes a series of specific short- and long-term action items to help address operational shifts, service reliability and resilience, labour shortages, capacity constraints, infrastructure, supply chain visibility, regulatory certainty, and shifts in governance.

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.
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