Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 21:20 EDT

Minister Fast concludes “westward march” Asia-Pacific Gateway consultations

July 20, 2012

From Manitoba to British Columbia, Canada’s competitive advantages
through the Gateway are deepening Canada’s ties throughout the
fast-growing Asia-Pacific region, Minister says

OTTAWA, July 20, 2012 /CNW/ – The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of
International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today
successfully concluded two weeks of consultations held throughout
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia on Canada’s
Asia-Pacific Gateway and the Government of Canada’s active and ongoing
engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.

During roundtables, site visits and bilateral meetings in Winnipeg,
Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Delta, Vancouver, Nanaimo, Port Alberni,
and Prince Rupert, Minister Fast met with his provincial and municipal
counterparts, leading stakeholders, and key transportation and industry
leaders to discuss ways to build on Canada’s competitive advantages and
further deepen trade and investment ties throughout the Asia-Pacific

“Our government’s top priority has been, and continues to be, the
economy and the creation of jobs, economic growth and long term
prosperity for Canadians,” said Minister Fast.  “We believe that
expanding and diversifying our trade relationships around the world is
one of the best ways to achieve these goals. That is why I am
consulting widely on how we can continue to support Canadian
businesses, and help ensure the opportunities that exist throughout the
fast-growing Asia-Pacific region are maximized.”

Over the past two weeks, Minister Fast has visited sites across Western
Canada to see first-hand how efforts to deepen Canada’s trade and
investment ties in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region are being
facilitated by the strategic investments and partnerships that have
built the Asia-Pacific Gateway, including visits to:

        --  MacDon and Centreport in Winnipeg;
        --  Global Transportation Hub, Brandt Industries Ltd. and Alliance
            Grain Traders and its Saskcan Pulse Trading main plant in
        --  Cory PotashCorp Mine, Crestline Coach Ltd. and Cameco in
        --  Fairview and Ridley Port Terminals in Prince Rupert;
        --  the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (Japan Branch);
        --  Canadian Pacific's Rail Pitt Meadows intermodal facility in
        --  a direct boat-to-rail operation at Southern Railway of British
            Columbia's barge docking berth in Delta;
        --  Port Metro Vancouver's harbour and Westport Innovations Inc. in
        --  Port of Nanaimo; and
        --  Port of Alberni.

Minister Fast concluded his Western Canada Asia-Pacific Gateway
consultations by signing a contribution agreement that delivers on the
Harper government’s commitment to the Ridley Island Road, Rail and Utility Corridor project in Prince Rupert which will help expand capacity and operations at the
Port of Prince Rupert, key to efforts to further deepen trade and
investment ties in high-growth Asian markets.

“With one in five Canadian jobs generated by trade, our government
understands that trade is vital to Canada’s past, present and future
prosperity.  That is why we are pursuing the most ambitious trade
expansion plan in Canada’s history with the largest, most dynamic and
fastest-growing economies in the world,” said Minister Fast.  “In what
remain globally challenging economic times, our government will
continue to deepen Canada’s trading relationships and continue to build
on the competitive advantages that have made our country the gateway of
choice between Asia and North America.  These consultations are an
important part of ensuring the strategic investments and partnerships
we’ve made to date continue to benefit workers and businesses.”

Since 2006, the Harper government has invested $1.4 billion into
Asia-Pacific Gateway infrastructure projects, an amount that has been
leveraged to almost $4 billion with the participation of provincial and
municipal governments and the private sector.  A total of almost 50
projects have been supported, creating jobs and economic growth in
local communities, while easing the movement of goods, services and
people to and from the fast-growing Asia-Pacific economies.

Canada’s West Coast ports are more than two days closer to Asian markets
than any other port in North America.  As a result of these strategic
investments and partnerships, Canadian exports to the Asia-Pacific
region have reached record levels.  For example, in 2011 alone,
Canadian exports to China increased an impressive 27 per cent.

For more information on the Government of Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway
and Corridor Initiative, or to view photos from the Minister’s Western
Canada consultations, please visit our website: www.asiapacificgateway.gc.ca.

SOURCE Transport Canada

Source: PR Newswire