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Industry Information —
Current Issues

There are many issues on the Association’s agenda being addressed by the Board of Directors, Board Committees and Technical Committees. The key issues at the top of that agenda include issues related to the overall competitiveness of Canada’s national port system.


All issues, in one way or another, impact the overall competitiveness of Canada’s ports, both large and small. Canada’s major ports compete directly for cargo with ports in the United States and this is true in the Atlantic, Great Lakes, St. Lawrence and the Pacific regions of the country. With international trade expected to double – or triple – by 2020 there are many things that must be done to ensure Canada’s ports remain ‘ports of call’ for shippers around the world.


Canada’s major ports continue to make large capital investments in infrastructure to meet the growing needs of port users as trade continues to grow. This is an essential service as ports are in the middle of an important transportation logistical chain and must work diligently to ensure the secure flow of goods and people. Ocean going vessels are larger and have more - and varying - infrastructure requirements. These vessels can only be effectively serviced with the proper infrastructure all along the trade corridor from the dock, to the landside links, to its final destination, that is, the receiver and ultimately the consumer.


Canada’s ports are now among the most secure in the world. Marine-facility operators in Canada comply 100 percent with the International Maritime Organization’s strict security code, the International Ship and Port-facility Security Code (ISPS). This Code was further enhanced with Transport Canada’s new Marine Transport Security Act (MTSA) that imposed even higher standards of security for Canada’s maritime industry. Canada’s ports also work closely with Transport Canada, the Customs and Border Services Agency (CBSA) - and other governmental agencies - to ensure that all aspects of international trade is safe and secure.

Sustainable Development

Canada’s major ports take seriously their responsibility for environmental stewardship. All stakeholders have an interest in the sustainable management of business on port lands. The Association and its members continue to work with all levels of government - and the public at large - to ensure full compliance with the many regulations related to the environment.

Legislation and Regulation

Given that Canada Port Authorities operate under federal legislation, the Canada Marine Act (CMA), there is an ongoing vigilance to ensure all aspects of that relationship is maintained and strengthened. A recent Canada Marine Act Review made strong recommendations for changes to the Act to enhance the overall competitiveness of Canada’s port system. Canada’s major ports must comply with many other federal and provincial regulations in the conduct of its business. While competing aggressively with fierce U.S. port competition, Canada’s major ports also have a ‘public good’ mandate under the Canada Marine Act. Canada Port Authorities must work hard to achieve certain national and regional objectives related the economic and social development for the good of Canadians.

Innovation and Technology

Canada’s ports have adopted a number of technology initiatives that have proven to be most effective in facilitating the movement of goods and people. As demand for services continues to grow there are a number of technical applications that have been employed to serve port users, while planning for longer-term infrastructure capacity enhancements.


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