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HOPA Ports and Niagara Municipalities sign MOU to pursue surplus Canal Lands

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A new network of Niagara logistics hubs is a step closer to reality with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between three cities and Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA) Ports.

On 25 September, Mayors Frank Campion of Welland, Bill Steele of Port Colborne, Terry Ugulini of Thorold, and HOPA CEO Ian Hamilton took the next step in the Niagara Ports plan. This plan, which will create a network of multimodal hubs along the Welland Canal, is anticipated to attract industry to Niagara, reduce costs for shippers and develop the Niagara trade corridor.

The Niagara Ports hubs would incorporate several properties along the Welland Canal that have been declared surplus by Transport Canada. With the endorsement of each municipal Council, the MOU formalizes a request by the three municipalities and HOPA that the federal government incorporate its surplus Canal lands into HOPA’s Letters Patent. This move would allow HOPA to contribute its expertise in developing marine-industrial lands.

Ian Hamilton, HOPA Ports’ President & CEO:

“Niagara has a unique combination of multimodal transportation infrastructure, development-ready industrial land and a geographic position as a gateway to Ontario. We’re excited to take advantage of those opportunities to help strengthen the economy and make it easier to move goods from Niagara to markets all around the world.”

Mayor Bill Steele, City of Port Colborne:

“Today we acknowledge the need for a collaborative and inclusive approach to building economic sustainability in Niagara,” said Mayor Bill Steele, City of Port Colborne. “By signing the Memorandum of Understanding with Welland, Thorold and the Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA) Ports, we’re solidifying our partnership with these communities in order to achieve our goal of increasing marine infrastructure. No longer are we working in silos, but joining forces to strategically create innovative approaches to moving goods to and from Niagara by means of the Welland Canal. I have no doubt this will have a positive impact on the Port Colborne community and surrounding area.”

Mayor Terry Ugulini, City of Thorold:

“The importance of collaboration cannot be over stated. Today’s MOU signing is the culmination of years of planning and coordination. This is a true example of progress, where we as a city are no longer operating in isolation and working with our neighbouring municipalities, HOPA and higher levels of government to create economic sustainability. Niagara has a strong history in marine and we are well positioned to be a trade and logistics hub for the world. The efficient movement of goods has never been more important to domestic and global supply chains. As Mayor of the City of Thorold I know that we will put our best foot forward as we work toward creating the future, one that will solve complex global problems and give rise to new possibilities for our citizens and businesses.”

Mayor Frank Campion, City of Welland:

“The signing of this MOU re-enforces our commitment to work collaboratively and strategically to turn our collective vision of having Port Hubs in Thorold, Welland and Port Colborne into reality. The national and international business opportunities created by this partnership will have significant economic impacts for our municipalities and Niagara. I look forward to working with Thorold, Port Colborne, HOPA and the federal and provincial governments to make Niagara an essential component of the Canadian Trade Corridor. Global trade and the national and international movement of goods and commodities is critical for a sustainable, expanding economy and opening doors to new customers and suppliers.

“The City of Welland is proud to be part of this partnership and looking forward to the establishment of the Niagara Ports.”

Niagara is recognised by the Government of Canada as key Foreign Trade Zone and as an Economic Gateway Centre & Zone. The Niagara Ports project will build on Niagara’s strategic location within a one-day drive of major Canadian and US cities, create jobs, and strengthen the economy.

HOPA’s vision is to create an integrated port network on the Great lakes. HOPA has successfully integrated the ports of Hamilton and Oshawa, attracting new investment and improving the efficiency of multimodal transportation around the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area. To date, HOPA has attracted more than $300 million in third party investment.

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