Nanaimo-Ladysmith Liberal candidate Michelle Corfield, federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau and volunteers make calls Wednesday night at Corfield’s campaign office. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Liberals say Nanaimo’s port important to economic diversification

Transport Minister Marc Garneau campaigned in Nanaimo-Ladysmith on Wednesday

A nationwide review of all Canada’s ports is meant to modernize, not interfere, said the federal transport minister.

Marc Garneau was in Nanaimo on Wednesday night campaigning with Nanaimo-Ladysmith Liberal candidate Michelle Corfield and the minister said the ports modernization review will bring “possible changes to governance and other factors” but won’t take away the autonomy that port authorities have.

“It’s not something where we’re going to say, ‘we’re going to change this port this way,’” Garneau said. “What we’re looking for are changes and modernization that will apply to all 18 port authorities across the country.”

He said while there’s some federal government oversight, ports “basically chart their own course” while growing in ways compatible with communities and for the betterment of local economies.

“We encourage them to develop in the areas where they can create business for the port where they can help the local economy, and I think Nanaimo is an example of a very active port authority that’s doing good things,” Garneau said.

He suggested that the federal government is a willing partner in helping ports realize opportunities, and he pointed to the vehicle processing plant that recently began operations on Nanaimo’s assembly wharf.

“This is a need that has been filled by Nanaimo and it’s because of their initiative and their decision to look at how the government could help, and to apply for it, and to receive that help,” said Garneau. “That help is because it creates jobs, it creates long-term stability for the port. so we’re very open to that.”

RELATED: Transport Canada will review all port authorities, including Nanaimo’s

RELATED: Nanaimo’s vehicle processing centre officially opens

Corfield is Port of Nanaimo chairwoman, but has stepped aside from that role for the byelection campaign. She said the Liberal government worked well with ports, pointing to environmental assessments, fisheries modernization and renewal of the Transportation Act and Navigable Waters Protection Act.

“All of those things help us understand where the government’s going nationally, to enable us to create strategic plans and ultimately business plans and develop businesses that are meaningful to the local economy while matching a national interest,” Corfield said.

She sees potential for “extreme growth” in economic diversification in Nanaimo-Ladysmith and some of that can happen at the port, she said, with short-sea shipping and generally diversifying marine traffic.

story continues below

“There are always opportunities when you’re looking for them and … certain markets change, so you’re looking for new opportunities,” Garneau said.

He pointed to the $2-billion national trade corridors fund for infrastructure, which he said will improve the movement of goods. Removing bottlenecks is necessary to ensure opportunities and participation in trade with foreign markets, said Garneau.

“If we don’t, they’re going to be looking somewhere else,” the minister said. “We’ve got to have an efficient transportation system and I think we’re well on our way – in the second-biggest country on Earth, which is not an easy challenge – but I think we’re well on our way to improving our trade corridors so that we can get those goods out of our ports to foreign markets in a reliable and efficient way.”

The Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection is May 6. Candidates include Corfield; Bob Chamberlin, NDP; John Hirst, Conservatives; Paul Manly, Greens; Jennifer Clarke, People’s Party of Canada; Brian Marlatt, Progressive Canadian Party; and Jakob Letkemann, National Citizens Alliance.

Advance voting will be April 26-29. For more information on how and where to vote, click here.

RELATED: Candidates face questions on Nanaimo doorsteps about supportive housing and crime

RELATED: Health minister talks opioid crisis in campaign stop in Nanaimo

RELATED: Fisheries and oceans minister spends Earth Day in Nanaimo

RELATED: Climate action can’t be a partisan issue, say Greens

RELATED: PPC leader Bernier works to build party’s profile in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

RELATED: NDP say affordable housing ‘fundamental’ to their campaign

RELATED: Scheer rallies Conservatives in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

RELATED: Prime Minister Trudeau comes campaigning in Nanaimo

RELATED: NDP leader comes to town to launch campaign in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

RELATED: Greens see climate as central issue in Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection

RELATED: Nanaimo-Ladysmith NDP candidate officially opens office, talks reconciliation

RELATED: Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates will critique budget on byelection campaign trail

RELATED: Candidates hit the campaign trail as Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection called



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Land commission should have supported Nanoose eatery

Letter writers weigh in on closure of Rusted Rake Farm

It’s game on as new hockey exhibit fills Nanaimo Museum

Canadian Museum of History travelling exhibit on display until November

Family safe after early-morning garage fire in Nanaimo’s Buttertubs Marsh area

Nanaimo Fire Rescue called out to fire 2 a.m. on Saturday

Nanaimo company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs

Salvation Botanicals granted a controlled drugs and substances dealer’s licence

Developer of downtown Nanaimo hotel hopes to begin construction by November

PEG Development says construction could take 12-20 months

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Seven buildings proposed for waterfront development in Parksville

IAG Developments hosts second public open house to gather feedback

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 12

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

‘A real shame’: B.C. MLA says factors behind Tolko mill closing should have been caught

Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson said the industry is in bad shape across the province

Most Read