Gaétan Boivin, President and CEO of the Trois-Rivières Port Authority, and newly elected Chair of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA), says the Association’s recent annual conference held in Saint John clearly shows Canada’s ports provide a national advantage in the promotion of domestic and international trade.

“The Association continues its work to help move Canada’s maritime transportation agenda forward in a significant way to ensure that Canada is fully prepared to tackle critical issues for the entire industry well into the future,” said Mr. Boivin, who was elected Chair of the Association at the groups recent annual Governance Seminar held in Toronto.

Mr. Boivin said that the ACPA has always been an Association that brings together key stakeholders in the port community to address important issues related to the competitiveness of Canada’s national port system. He further added that the key role played by the Association was noted in this year’s keynote address at the annual conference from the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, the Hon. Lawrence Cannon. The Association has experienced much success in recent months with the passage of key legislation for Port Authorities, the introduction of infrastructure funding for gateways and corridors and a renewed focus on security-related initiatives for the maritime sector.

“This year’s 50th annual conference addressed important issues like the federal government’s policy framework for gateways and corridors in all regions of Canada, infrastructure plans of Canada’s major ports, sustainability initiatives in the port industry, the growing cruise business in Canada and much more,” added Mr. Boivin. He further noted that, “The Association’s new strategic plan will soon be implemented to further advance the interests of it’s members and all stakeholders in the maritime community in Canada.”

Gaétan Boivin took over as Chair from Lisa Raitt, the former President and CEO, of the Toronto Port Authority, who was recently elected as Member of Parliament for the riding of Halton. Other members of the Board are Vice- Chair, Pierre Gagnon, President and CEO, Sept-Iles Port Authority; and Past Chair, Sean Hanrahan, President and CEO, St. John’s Port Authority, Rayburn Doucett, President and CEO, Belledune Port Authority; Chris Badger, Chief Operating Officer, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority; Tim Heney, President and CEO, Thunder Bay Port Authority; Ralph Seely, Chief Financial Officer, Saint John Port Authority; Brad Madelung, Chief Executive Officer, Port Alberni Port Authority; Paul Servos, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, representing the Associate Members; and Anthony MacGuinness, President and CEO, Atlantic Pilotage Authority, representing the Affiliate Members.

Next year, the Association’s 50th Annual Meeting and Conference will take place in Prince Rupert, from August 23 to August 27, 2009, and will be hosted by the Prince Rupert Port Authority.