Vancouver Port Authority President and CEO Gordon Houston says the $591 million federal “Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative” announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper is vital to the continued success of the Port of Vancouver. Harper announced details of the initiative at the Port of Vancouver’s Centerm container terminal in Burrard Inlet.

“The federal government’s investment of $591 million in funding for infrastructure and programs to enhance Canada’s Pacific Gateway moves British Columbia’s ports closer to realizing the tremendous economic potential of expanding Asia-Pacific trade,” said Houston. “The government’s immediate allocation of $321 million will address urgent road and rail capacity and congestion issues to improve goods movement and livability in the gateway.”

Houston stated that, in the past two years, the VPA and its terminal operators have invested more than $400 million to increase the Port of Vancouver’s cargo and container handling capacity to meet the growing opportunity that Asia-Pacific trade represents to the region and to the country. “But our investment means nothing without the supporting expanded road and rail networks that move goods to and from the port,” said Houston.

Immediate federal funding to promote more efficient and seamless transportation connections specific to the Port of Vancouver include up to $50 million for overpasses and underpasses along the Roberts Bank Railway Corridor, up to $100 million toward construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road, and up to $2 million over two years to support environmental assessments for the South Fraser Perimeter Road work.

Houston noted that the “Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative” exemplifies how governments can work together to support industry and maximize the benefit for all Canadians. “The Port of Vancouver is Canada’s flagship port. Today’s funding allocation announcement benefits us here in western Canada and across the entire country,” said Houston. “We look forward to working with all levels of government and our industry partners to draw on the economic benefits of expanded trade between Canada and Asia.”