Newsletter, Winter 2009
The Continental Express
Message from the Minister
Canada's Minister of Transport and Infrastructure
I am honoured to assume this important responsibility, tasked to me by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. I look forward to fulfilling my mandate while helping to keep our country on a steady course in an uncertain global economy. I am pleased to work with my provincial colleagues, Julie Boulet, Quebec Minister of Transport and Norman MacMillan, Quebec Minister for Transport as well as Jim Bradley, Ontario Minister of Transportation. The Continental Gateway is a key transportation system in Canada. Developing this gateway will only further promote trade, foreign development and will help boost Canada’s economy. I am committed to ensuring the competitiveness of this economic heartland and look forward to breaking new ground on this initiative.
New speed limiter regulations in Québec and Ontario
On January 1, 2009, the governments of Quebec and Ontario implemented speed limiting devices on all large trucks. Speed limiters offer economic benefits, promote safety and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Quebec and Ontario require trucks equipped with a speed limiter to be set to a maximum speed of 105 km/h (65 m/h). There will be a six-month educational awareness period to provide truck companies and drivers, including those from other Canadian jurisdictions and the United States, an opportunity to comply with the new rules.
A Government of Canada study confirms that speed limiters could yield neconomic and environmental benefits. Limiting truck speeds to 105 km/h in Ontario and Quebec is expected to reduce fuel consumption by 150 million litres a year. Reduced fuel consumption means lower operating costs for transportation companies and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 410,000 tonnes.
To access the Quebec news release, please visit the Quebec Ministry of Transportation website at www.mtq.gouv.qc.ca/portal/...
To access the Ontario news release, please visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website at http://ogov.newswire.ca/ontario/...
Improving Urban Congestion in Ontario
Urban congestion can slow freight movement. The Public and Private Sector Advisory Committees called for improved urban traffic flows to allow traffic to move more quickly across cities. To help ease urban congestion through the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, Ontario created Metrolinx to develop a seamless, integrated and sustainable transportation system across this area. In November, Metrolinx released its Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) which will help ease congestion and improve freight movement through the most populated areas of Ontario. The province will invest $11.5 billion to begin implementation of RTP. Ontario is also adding more high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, as part of a 25-year plan to build a 400-kilometre network of HOV lanes on major 400-series highways.
Tackling Urban Congestion in Quebec
The Quebec government drafted its first policy aimed at increasing public transit ridership across the province, with plans to invest $4.5 billion over the five-year implementation phase. To improve services in the Montreal area, the government has already given the green light to a multi-billion dollar investment, in particular to purchase 20 dual-powered vehicles (electricity/ diesel), commission 160 new bi-level commuter rail cars, build a new commuter line to serve the eastern and northeastern parts of the island, replace 336 first generation metro cars, and increase the number of articulated buses and reserved bus lanes. All these measures will not only help ease congestion, but will also ensure the efficient movement of passengers and goods.
St. Lawrence Seaway Corporations lead binational trade mission to Genoa, Italy and Istanbul, Turkey
The U.S. and Canadian Seaway Corporations, along with 17 senior marine industry officials from the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System, recently returned from a week long trade mission to Italy and Turkey. During the mission, the delegation met with shipowners, brokers, shipbuilders, and shippers of cargo, including grain, steel, and project cargo in both countries. One highlight of the mission was a Memorandum of Cooperation that was signed in Genoa, Italy to establish a cooperative partnership between the Hwy H20 (www.hwyH2O.com), Port Partners and Members of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System and the Ligurian Ports of Genoa, La Spezia and Savona, in Northern Italy. The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation and Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation have conducted international trade missions since 1985, including two previous missions to Italy (1986 and 1995) and one to Turkey (2000). Actively marketing the binational waterway is vital for increasing awareness and generating new business for this gateway to North America’s economic heartland.
Patrick R. Sinnott
Executive Vice-President, Technology and Supply Chain, Canadian Tire
I am pleased to serve as the strategic advisor to the Province of Ontario as we work to improve the competitiveness of our national transportation system.
Canadian Tire’s experience reinforces for me that we must better employ technology to ensure all partners in Canada’s supply chain are working to synchronize the movement of goods and information across our multimodal transportation system, and to make the most of our existing infrastructure. We also need to invest thoughtfully in infrastructure that can provide Canada with the supply chain capacity and capabilities needed to make us competitive for decades to come. Finally, it is important that we work together to harmonize transportation regulations across the Continental Gateway to enable the timely, efficient and sustainable flow of goods.
I look forward to working with my public and private sector colleagues as we search out best practices, leverage our strengths, and collectively make progress toward strengthening both our domestic and international trade positions.
Gord M. Gillespie, President
The Continental Gateway is an exciting multimodal initiative that will help ensure economic stability. For this initiative to be successful, it will need to provide an affordable, environmentally friendly, “cradle to grave” transportation solution focused on on-time, efficient delivery in all sectors. Government support is critical to ensuring transportation companies have the road infrastructure required to meet ever-changing needs of all industries and to safely and efficiently move goods to their destinations. This is crucial to a globally competitive and prosperous economy.
Reducing port and border delays, as well as gridlock in our major centres is vital to ensuring the economic growth of all stakeholders. Improvements at the Windsor-Detroit border and investment along Highway 20 and Highway 401 are important in addressing gridlock and its impact on supply chain expenses. The Continental Gateway will help develop a competitive advantage for Canadian business. SLH Transport look forward to continued participation and support from all levels of industry and government.
The Port of Montréal continues its expansion and investments
The Port of Montréal is forging ahead and will invest $775 million over the next five years to undertake the projects outlined in Phases I and II of its Vision 2020 strategic plan. Carrying out these first two phases will allow it to increase its current handling capacity from 1.6 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) to 2.5 million TEUs by 2013. At the conclusion of the strategic plan, the port should increase its containers handling capacity to 4.5 million TEUs.
The Port of Montréal posted a 9.9% increase in container traffic over the first three quarters of 2008 to reach 1.117 million TEUs. Despite the global economic slowdown, 2008 should wrap up with strong growth in container traffic at the Port of Montréal for the seventh consecutive year. Two main advantages contribute to this performance: a geographic location that allows the shortest transit times from Europe to the American Midwest and a rail network on the quays interconnecting with both national railways, CN and CP.
Canadian National Brampton intermodal terminal
Mark Hallman, Director Communications, Media
CN Rail’s Brampton Intermodal Terminal (BIT) is the largest on the company’s North American rail network. In 2007, BIT handled approximately 660,000 intermodal units. Strategically located in Brampton, Ontario, BIT is CN’s intermodal hub for the Greater Toronto Area and Southwestern Ontario, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. BIT transfers between CN train and truck (both independent and CN managed) containers (import and domestic) or highway trailers arriving from or destined to: key ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Halifax and Montréal; major centres in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario and the Western provinces, and key cities in the U.S. along CN’s network, including Chicago, Memphis, Tennessee, and New Orleans.
CN recently invested $12 million to increase container-handling capacity by one-quarter at the Brampton Intermodal Terminal. Investment in the Continental Gateway will help the flow of traffic and make CN even more competitive in moving both Canadian and international goods to markets in the U.S.
Bombardier Transportation :
The leader in the rail equipment manufacturing and servicing industry has delivered close to 7,000 vehicles across North America.
Bombardier’s cars are manufactured in Ontario, Quebec, the U.S. and Mexico, and must be delivered to their clients within predetermined deadlines. The manufacturing and multimodal (truck and train) delivery strategy is dependent on customer proximity and requirements, as well as on the ability to deliver within set deadlines and budgets.
Accordingly, Bombardier Transportation recommends orientations to be examined within the framework of the Continental Gateway. Among others, Bombardier Transportation is hoping for a finalized harmonization of interprovincial road transportation regulations (load, size) to reduce transportation costs. In the same manner, the rail equipment manufacturer believes that a developed rail line network specifically for transporting goods could increase flexibility and reduce delivery times. An incentives program for railway shippers could provide quality service to companies that have low volumes or non-standard export goods. Finally, Bombardier Transportation is promoting environmental protection by providing alternative means of transportation that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
A more efficient trade corridor will enable Bombardier Transportation to better meet the challenges of the new reality, in which equipment manufacturing and delivery deadlines are increasingly tight.
Upcoming Activities and Events
- Global Economic Overview Conference on February 2 and 3, 2009, in Montréal. To register for this conference, visit www.aqtr.qc.ca (French only)
- Private Sector Advisory Committee Meeting in Montréal, February 3, 2009, in the afternoon.
- Second Public and Private Sector Advisory Committee Joint Meeting in Ottawa in spring 2009.
- Continental Gateway representatives will attend the trade show scheduled during the AQTR’s Annual Convention in Montréal on April 6-8, 2009. At this conference, the ministère des Transports du Quebec will present an update of the Continental Gateway initiative.
- Date Modified: