The City of Oshawa was taken back by news that the federal government intends to amalgamate the Oshawa and Hamilton port authorities to form a new entity.

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau announced Feb. 5, that the government’s intent is to amalgamate the two ports. The formal announcement  will be published on Feb. 9, 2019 and mark the beginning of a 30-day consultation period. Interested parties will have until March 11, 2019 to submit comments.

City staff said it will be reviewing the formal notice and will report to council with recommendations.

“On behalf of City Council and staff, we were taken back by the Government of Canada’s premature announcement that it intends to amalgamate the two ports,” Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter said. “To our knowledge, the findings of the Canadian Port Modernization Review have not been made public or shared with the current port authorities and port municipalities.

“We look forward to learning more about the findings of the review and to ensuring that the Port of Oshawa continues to play a vital role in supporting trade and investment for Canada.”

The City of Oshawa recently participated in Transport Canada’s Canadian Port Modernization Review and provided comments on the themes of communication, land use, innovation, safety, sustainability and governance.”

In a submission by the city, approved by council last September, it noted that the Port of Oshawa is a key economic contributor, handling an average of approximately $23 million worth of cargo annually, including products such as salt, steel, asphalt and grain.

It also highlighted that more than 500 vessels carrying over three million metric tonnes of cargo over the last decade has been handled by the Oshawa Port.

A centre of trade and vital transportation link for key industries dating back to the 1800s, the Port of Oshawa is an integral transportation asset to the local economy and beyond.

It has been helping businesses export and import competitively and offering an integrated transportation network with direct access to air, rail, seaway and highway.

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