Ottawa invests in Nanaimo port’s vehicle processing centre

Ottawa invests in Nanaimo port's vehicle processing centre

The Nanaimo Port Authority’s planned vehicle processing centre got a financial boost Wednesday from the federal government.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced Ottawa will give $6.3 million to the project.

“How efficiently we move goods plays a critical role in the health of our economy and so this program called the National Trade Corridors fund is a fund of two billion dollars and we’re allocating that to different projects that remove bottlenecks and make our transportation system more efficient,” said Garneau.

The Nanaimo Port Authority announced details about the project in April.

Port Authority chair Michelle Corfield said the project would have been tougher to achieve without the funding, but the project was likely to go ahead regardless.

“We’re so excited about this project,” said Corfield. “This is about creating 40 to 60 good paying jobs in the city.”

The federal government said the vehicle processing centre would create 200 jobs during construction and 100 jobs once the facility was up and running.

The 60,000 square foot processing centre will change the distribution of some European cars within western Canada.

“This is a huge positive announcement for the City of Nanaimo,” said Nanaimo’s Acting Mayor Ian Thorpe. “It’s just an indicator of the potential future growth of this part of Vancouver Island.”

Instead of arriving in Halifax and being prepared for the market there, before being shipped by train across Canada, the cars will go through the Panama Canal and then be shipped to Nanaimo.

The cars will be prepared for market in Nanaimo’s vehicle processing plant before being distributed into western Canada.

Construction is set to begin in July with the first shipment of cars arriving in January 2019.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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