Alberni pitches PATH to Ottawa

Mayor Mike Ruttan and PAPA CEO Zoran Knezevic optimistic about proposed transshipment hub's future.

The Port Alberni Port Authority first proposed the $1.7 billion project in 2013.

Port Alberni Port Authority officials and Mayor Mike Ruttan were in Ottawa last week to garner support for the Port Alberni Transshipment Hub (PATH).

The port authority first proposed the $1.7 billion project in 2013. Since then, a 420-page pre-feasibility study has been completed by consultants CPCS. According to the study, PATH “has the potential to generate significant economic and other benefits.” However, the report notes, “to be viable, the PATH concept would need to secure long-term traffic and investment commitments from one or more shipping lines”—something that PAPA CEO Zoran Knezevic has been working on.

“We were in Ottawa to meet with a number of different government officials and discuss the benefits of the Port Alberni Transshipment Hub,” said Knezevic.

“We met with policy advisor to [Minister of Transport] Marc Garneau, met with the NDP office of [MP] Gord Johns and with about 14 different bureaucrats to express the benefits of the project and ask for support.”

While the federal government’s formal position won’t be known for a while, Knezevic was hopeful given the delegation’s positive reception.

“Our impression is that people were very impressed, we got a lot of positive feedback plus encouragement to continue moving forward, but it is a very large project and  it may require a larger group of government officials to push this forward,” he said.

Ruttan was surprised that the federal bureaucrats didn’t have much background on the PATH proposal.

“We found that federal bureaucrats—who are not the ones to formally make the decisions but certainly the ones to look at the evidence and make recommendations—weren’t fully aware of the project or implications in terms of how it impacts the entire country with respect to trade and therefore Canada’s standing with our trading partners internationally,” said Ruttan. “Nor were they fully aware of the capacity for this project to positively impact our resiliency in terms of trade.”

Knezevic said that the port authority is focusing both in Canada and abroad.

“We are actively seeking investors,” he said, adding that support from senior government would aid that effort.

Ruttan agreed.

“I think we’re at the stage where if we can convince both senior levels of government that it’s in our national interest to advance this project that we have a much better chance of getting the necessary investment to make it a reality,” he said.

If the transshipment hub does go forward, Ruttan said it will have an immense positive impact on the area. “If it does come about it will be transformation for our region—and when I say our region I mean the entire Island. It’s a different way of looking at how we trade and how we move freight and how efficient we can be in terms of distribution of goods,” said Ruttan.

More efficient trade could help Canada meet its obligations from the Paris climate conference in December, Ruttan added. At the conference, 195 nations pledged to keep global temperature increases to below two degrees Celsius.

Canada’s own current goals are to reduce emission levels to 2005 levels by 2030.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

facebook.com/albernivalleynews

twitter.com/alberninews

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Alberni athletes put on fitness ‘FUNdraiser’ for frontline workers

Outdoor boot camp will be limited to 50, with donations helping frontline workers’ mental health

Bamfield residents, visitors pressure province as anniversary of fatal crash approaches

Letter-writing campaign makes ‘heartfelt, emotional pleas’ to improve road conditions

Airforce search and rescue helicopter drops in at Cameron Lake for training

Distinctive yellow CH-149 Cormorant turns heads after using Island lake for impromptu hoist

QUINN’S QUIPS: What makes a building historically significant?

There’s a difference between heritage designation and a heritage register

Nominate a hero for BC Autism Awards

Quality Foods sponsoring the third annual awards

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Hundreds of sea lions to be killed on Columbia River in effort to save endangered fish

Nearly 22,000 comments received during public review were opposed, fewer than 200 were for

Devil’s Hand Poker Run in Campbell River to face RCMP scrutiny

The Campbell River RCMP will be keeping a close eye on the… Continue reading

B.C.’s fuel suppliers to publish prices to provide accountability: minister

Bruce Ralston says move will ensure industry publicly accountable for unexplained prices increases

Roots and Blues online festival live tonight on Black Press Media

Tune in to Black Press Media to watch the festival live Aug. 14, 15 and 16

Man suffers serious injuries in bear attack in remote area near Lillooet

It was deemed a defensive attack, no efforts were made to locate the animal

Missed rent payments because of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

Most Read