Following last week’s release of the final report of the National Supply Chain Task Force, the Minister of Transport embarked on a cross-Canada tour this week to discuss the report’s recommendations with key stakeholders. He also made announcements on a number of related issues, including the finalization of the ports modernization review and funding for a number of regulatory modernization and digitization initiatives. Below is a summary of key developments in this respect.
The Minister met with stakeholders in Halifax, Montreal and Winnipeg earlier this week to obtain feedback on the Task Force’s report, and is holding a final meeting in Vancouver today. The Federation has been invited to participate in the Vancouver meeting, which will also be attended by representatives from the terminal, grain, mining and labour sectors. Our remarks to the Minister will express overall support for the Task Force’s report as a roadmap for addressing Canada’s supply chain challenges, and will focus on a number of recommendations that are particularly relevant from an ocean shipping perspective. A copy of our draft verbal comments to the Minister can be found at this LINK.
Ports Modernization Review
Earlier this week, the Minister announced that based on the results of the Ports Modernization Review, the government intends to introduce legislative amendments to update how Canada’s ports are managed and operated (click HERE for announcement). The amendments are expected to include new governance measures to better structure the performance, accountability and transparency of Canada Port Authority boards of directors. They are also expected to provide new financial tools that emphasize port financial self-sufficiency and proportionality, and support the development of a new investment policy for Canada’s ports and port infrastructure that is designed to attract new investment capital.
The Minister announced yesterday that the government would be spending $17 million over five years to implement several new initiatives to streamline regulations and reduce bureaucracy across our supply chains (click HERE for announcement). This funding will be spread over four initiatives, including the development of a “maritime single window” reporting model in Canada, which is an electronic portal that would enable stakeholders to exchange digital information regarding vessel arrivals, departures, and stays. Given that this is an initiative which the Federation has been championing for a number of years (and which was one of the recommendations in our submission to the supply chain task force), we will be working closely with Transport Canada to ensure this remains a priority item on its agenda, and that CBSA is fully integrated into the department’s future work on this issue.
We will continue to keep members informed of developments on all these issues and initiatives, and to take advantage of the opportunity they represent to address members’ key concerns about the efficiency, resilience and cost-effectiveness of our transportation system overall.