The Canadian government has announced the sale or divesture of 50 Transport Canada-owned port facilities to interested parties under a new government program.
The program, known as the Ports Asset Transfer Program, will facilitate the transfer of 50 Transport Canada-owned port facilities to local interests, and includes structured engagement, sale and divestiture phases. If a port facility does not sell, the program will offer the port facility for divestiture.
Key features of the new program include specific timelines for negotiations and transactions; broader criteria to allow new port operators to expand or improve ports; greater flexibility for continued operations or possible alternate uses; and the ability of Canada Port Authorities to acquire ports.
Transport Canada says that sales and divestitures open up new commercial opportunities that allow port facilities to reach their full potential and maximize their contribution to economic growth, jobs, and investments in local communities.
“Our government understands the importance of these port facilities to the transportation needs and economic sustainability of their local communities. The Ports Asset Transfer Program offers an excellent opportunity for interested parties to acquire a port facility and to develop it to take advantage of local business, community development and tourism opportunities,” said The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport.
Funding for the new program was announced as part of Economic Action Plan 2014.
Since 1996, through Canada’s previous Port Divestiture Program, the Government of Canada has divested 499 ports, which has resulted in savings to Canadian taxpayers of over $470 million, according to Transport Canada.
A full list of ports included in the program can be found on the Transport Canada website.