The Surrey Board of Trade’s Policy Manager, Ray Hudson, travelled to Ottawa recently with Jeff Scott, CEO, Fraser Surrey Docks who was leading a delegation of customers and supply chain partners. The purpose of the advocacy delegation was to familiarize and underscore the critical importance of the Fraser River to the Canadian economy.
Meetings were held with the Prime Minister’s office, the Clerk of the Privy Council, Deputy Minister and Staff for Finance Minister Joe Oliver, Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel’s political staff, Agriculture Canada, International Trade, Minister of National Revenue, Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt as well as numerous MP’s of all political backgrounds.
Key messages delivered by the delegation were that Fraser Surrey Docks is the largest multi-purpose terminal on North America’s west coast, currently handling 250 deep-sea vessels and that millions of tonnes of cargo move through the terminal each year.
The Fraser River still has significant land to develop within an industrial setting, which can help support the growth and expansion necessary as the regional population continues to grow (another 1 million people expected in the South Fraser by 2025).
“We wanted to be in Ottawa to underscore just how important the Fraser River is and that it is as significant to the Canadian economy as is the St. Lawrence Seaway,” said Scott. “With the growth of the Asia-Pacific Gateway, it is critical that the federal government remains aware that the river’s infrastructure requires support and assistance from all levels of government to ensure that this critical asset can continue to meet the growing market demands and contribute to Canada’s economy.”
“The Surrey Board of Trade along with our neighbouring Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade, has an enormous stake in the Fraser River as an international Marine Highway contributing to the growth of the regional, provincial and national economy,” said Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade. “We participated in the recent meetings in Ottawa to underline the importance of Fraser Surrey Docks and the need for infrastructure improvements in the Fraser River.”
Press Release, April 23, 2014