The Port of Vancouver continues to increase its port fees in order to support the hundreds of millions of dollars it is spending on its unneeded Roberts Bank Terminal 2 (RBT2) mega- project. If built, RBT2 will create significant unneeded terminal capacity (not to mention the tremendous environmental impacts), and without adding any resiliency to the gateway’s rail and road network. This will result in further increased port fees that will soon make the Port of Vancouver and Canada’s Pacific Gateway uncompetitive.
When will the Government of Canada hold the Port of Vancouver leadership to account, stop Roberts Bank Terminal 2…
The Provinces are stepping up.
Saskatchewan wants opinion heard in Federal Court case against Vancouver Port Authority
By Neil Billinger
Jan 17, 2023
The Governments of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are seeking leave to intervene in the case about new gateway infrastructure fees at the Port of Vancouver.
Pacific Coast Terminals, Viterra and other companies are unhappy with the fees which went to effect on January first. They range from eight to 40 cents per tonne for bulk, non-containerized cargo such as grain and potash. Grain companies and other bulk shippers are seeking a judicial review of the decision through the Federal Court.
Saskatchewan and Manitoba are seeking leave to intervene in the case to provide a “public interest perspective on the interpretation of what constitutes a fair and reasonable fee based on a provision from the Canada Marine Act.” The Act requires the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority have representation from the Prairie Provinces. Saskatchewan maintains that as a landlocked province, it relies on a fair and competitive transportation network to get its goods to export position.
Approximately 44 per cent of all Saskatchewan exports went through the Port of Vancouver in 2020. Those exports were valued at $12.2 billion—including more than $8 billion of agricultural products.
In a Saskatchewan government news release, the CEO of Parrish and Heimbecker is quoted as saying “the Port of Vancouver is trying to impose new gateway infrastructure fees that places an unfair and unnecessary burden on bulk terminal operators like grain.” John Heimbecker adds a significant portion of those costs will inevitably be borne by Prairie grain farmers.
Government of Saskatchewan Press Release:
Province Seeks Leave to Intervene Against New Vancouver Port Fees
Released on January 17, 2023
Saskatchewan, along with Manitoba, is appearing virtually before the Federal Court today to seek leave to intervene in a judicial review of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s new gateway infrastructure fees.
"As a province that depends heavily on exports, Saskatchewan wants to ensure that the full impact of new port fees on key sectors of our economy is taken into consideration,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Bronwyn Eyre said. “These fees could significantly increase costs for Saskatchewan goods moving through the Port of Vancouver and diminish Canada's overall global competitiveness.”
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority announced it was implementing new fees in the fall of 2022, which came into effect on January 1, 2023. The fees range from eight to 40 cents per tonne for bulk, non-containerized cargo, including potash and grain, depending on the terminal through which the export is being processed. In response to this increase, a number of companies, including Viterra Canada Inc., are seeking a judicial review of the decision.
Saskatchewan will provide a public interest perspective on the interpretation of what constitutes a fair and reasonable fee, based on a provision under the Canada Marine Act, which requires that the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority Board have representation from the prairie provinces, and the large amount of Saskatchewan exports processed through the Port of Vancouver.
"As a landlocked province, Saskatchewan relies on a fair and competitive transportation network to get our goods across Canada and around the world,” Highways Minister Jeremy Cockrill said. “Our producers can compete with any in the world, as long as they are treated equitably.”
The Port of Vancouver is critical for Saskatchewan exports. In 2020, approximately 44 per cent of all Saskatchewan exports went through it, which represents a total value of $12.2 billion. This includes over $8 billion in agriculture and agri-food products and $2.9 billion in potash and potassium-based fertilizers. Approximately 22 per cent of the collective metric tonnage of goods that went through the Port of Vancouver in 2020 were made up of Saskatchewan exports.
“Port of Vancouver is trying to impose new gateway infrastructure fees that in our view places an unfair and unnecessary burden on bulk terminal operators like grain,” Parrish & Heimbecker CEO John Heimbecker said. “Given that a significant portion of those costs will inevitably be borne by prairie grain farmers, it’s only right that the Government of Saskatchewan would intervene to protect their interests and we’re thankful to the Premier and his ministers for doing just that with today’s announcement.”
For more information, contact:
Justice and Attorney General