A modernization project is about to begin on Hamilton Port Authority lands which will increase employment and boost the city’s tax base.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau visited the port lands on Tuesday afternoon to announce that the federal government is investing $17.7 million, or half the cost of the Westport Modernization Project.
Garneau says, “We can have the best products in the world, but if we can’t get them to our customers quickly and reliably, we will lose business to other suppliers.”
Hamilton Port Authority CEO Ian Hamilton says the project will increase docking for cargo ships and improve rail access while opening 40 to 50 acres of new warehousing and storage through a reorganization of their space.
Hamilton describes capacity as their “critical challenge,” noting “that if anyone’s been watching for the last few weeks, they’ve seen at least six or seven vessels, today four, out in the harbour and waiting to come in.”
He says it’s “a fantastic problem to have, but highlights the need for additional investments.”
Hamilton expects the port to see an additional million tonnes of cargo when the project is completed in 2020.
Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says the Westport modernization is closely aligned with the city’s vision for the industrial north end, since it will increase employment, add to the municipal tax base, and green the transitional areas between the port and the surrounding neighbourhood.