Wednesday, April 29, 2015

For Sale by Government Transport Group - Fifty Ports, One Careful Owner

Sell Off to Include Some Exotic - but Remote, Harbours
Shipping News Feature

CANADA – The Canadian Ministry of Transport has announced plans to facilitate the transfer of 50 government owned port facilities to local interests. Since 1996, through its previous Port Divestiture Program, the Government of Canada has divested 499 ports, which has apparently resulted in savings to Canadian taxpayers of over C$470 million.

Following on from Transport Canada’s (TC) former Port Divestiture Program (1996-2014), this new Ports Asset Transfer Program (PATP) is a structured strategy that includes engagement, sale and divestiture phases. During the engagement phase, Transport Canada will speak with interested parties to provide information about the PATP. This stage will be followed by the sales phase, expected to launch in summer 2015, where TC-owned port facilities are strategically offered to other Federal departments and the Provinces and territories and municipalities, then later opened to all other bids if there is no interest from government organisations.

The PATP includes specific timelines for negotiations and transactions with interested parties, and greater operational flexibility for new port facility operators including the possibility of developing port sites for desired alternative uses. A list of the available ports is viewable here.

If there is no expression of interest during the sales phase, the divestiture phase will follow. This phase could include a grant and/or funding contribution from the Government of Canada to help continue port facility operations and maintenance. The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, commented:

“Our government understands the importance of these port facilities to the transportation needs and economic sustainability of their local communities. The Ports Asset Transfer Program offers an excellent opportunity for interested parties to acquire a port facility and to develop it to take advantage of local business, community development and tourism opportunities.”

Photo: The sale includes the Port of Tobermory (no not the Balamory one, the one in Ontario)