Minster of Transport Lisa Raitt Talks Maritime Commerce Resilence Project at Canadian Port Authorities Annual Meeting

Today Lisa Raitt, the Canadian Minister of Transport, discussed the importance of the Beyond the Border (BTB) Action Plan to enhancing Canada-U.S. maritime trade.

The minister alluded to the Maritime Commerce Resilience Project, a joint effort by Canada and the United States to figure out how to best manage maritime traffic during an emergency event.

The project was discussed earlier this year in Pacific Maritime Magazine:

There is a lot at stake. The estimated regional economic impact of imports and exports through the ports in Washington and British Columbia is more than $200 billion annually. “The marine industry is the lifeblood of our regional economy,” stated Matt Morrison, Executive Director of the Pacific North West Economic Region (PNWER). A sustained disruption to the flow of goods could have a devastating impact on the local economy.

A workshop was scheduled to validate and streamline the suggestions in the Guidelines into a workable action plan. The process was to culminate in a large, bi-national exercise that included stakeholders from the public and private sectors testing the action plan.

A bi-national workshop led by PNWER’s COO, Brandon Hardenbrook, was held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle in August. The event attracted 114 participants including representatives from most large regional ports; Edward Dahlgren from Nanaimo, Neil Clement from Bellingham and Cindy Jeromin from Metro Vancouver, as well as representatives from Prince Rupert, Everett, Tacoma and Seattle…

The one thing all participants agreed on was that the region was not prepared to deal effectively with devastation on the level of that experienced in Haiti or Japan after earthquakes in those countries.

Learn more about the project in this December 2012 report.

See what Minister Raitt had to say about the project by checking out this press release, reading the full speech, or reading below:

Ensuring the security of our transportation systems is key to strengthening the Canada-U.S. trade relationship.

To build prosperity through trade, businesses and governments on both sides of our shared border must have confidence that our transportation systems will work together to meet our mutual security needs.

That is why Canada and the United States are working closely together to implement the Beyond the Border Action Plan.

Under this plan, we are developing a joint cross-border approach to help maritime commerce recover faster after a major disruption. Port Metro Vancouver played a major role in piloting this very successful approach.

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