Enabling thriving communities
The Port of Vancouver plays a vital economic role by connecting consumers and businesses with the global marketplace and supporting local employment. Canadians are eager to purchase a broad range of goods made in other countries: clothing, electronics, specialty foods, engine parts, and more. At the same time, Canada has an abundance of natural resources and agricultural products that other countries need and want to buy. Those exports create jobs in farming, logging, mining and many other trade-related jobs for hundreds of thousands of Canadians.
What we do as a Canada Port Authority to enable Canada’s trade through the port affects the well-being of communities and businesses across Canada, and they count on us to do what we do responsibly and sustainably.
The Port of Vancouver is growing as a result of increasing demand for trade. Metro Vancouver is also growing rapidly, and expects to welcome one million new residents by 2050, many of them near goods movement corridors and port operations. Minimizing impacts of port activities on communities is therefore top of mind for the port authority, terminal operators, rail companies and others in the port community.
Fostering community connections
Sustainability has always been a part of our federal mandate as a Canada Port Authority. A few years ago, we engaged with stakeholders to discuss what sustainability means in the context of the transportation gateway. We went on to adopt this definition for our vision, which is for the Port of Vancouver to be the world’s most sustainable port. To us, a sustainable port delivers on three pillars: a healthy environment, thriving communities, and economic prosperity through trade, through meaningful dialogue, shared aspirations and collective accountability.
This means ensuring communities are at the heart of everything we do. We work closely with industry, communities, Indigenous groups, government and others in the port community to address noise, congestion and other impacts of port operations, seek input on port-related projects, and support organizations that benefit people who live and work near the port. This work is intended to ensure Canadians today and in the future will enjoy the benefits of trade, an improved quality of life and a healthy ecosystem.
And, through Canada Place, we invite community members to come together for a host of interactive events throughout the year, and we help shine a light on important causes through our Sails of Light program.
Considering and responding to your community
At the port authority, we work with the 16 municipalities that border the port to identify and respond to community issues related to the port. We do this by engaging local governments to strengthen communities, build productive working relationships and to find opportunities for collaboration, which we accomplish through working groups, formal consultation programs, information sessions, presentations to councils, and events. We also have four community liaison committees that bring together diverse stakeholders to collaboratively address local interests and concerns about port activities. In Delta—the municipality with the most port activity of any in Canada—we also operate a community office that provides local residents and business groups the opportunity to meet with staff and ask questions.
On average, the port authority reinvests almost 90% of our cash flows from operating activities in capital projects to address Canada’s growing trade and lessen the impacts of trade on local communities and the environment. We collaborate with government at all levels and industry to identify transportation bottlenecks across the Vancouver region and build infrastructure to reduce them. For example, projects such as overpasses and underpasses that remove rail crossings help reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions in communities across the Lower Mainland, while freeing up new trade capacity for Canadian businesses.
Port operations are industrial by nature and occur on a 24/7 basis. As a port authority, we are not involved in operations at port terminals, but we have a responsibility to local residents and businesses to work to minimize noise and other annoyances originating from federal lands that make up the Port of Vancouver. We work with communities to proactively identify concerns associated with port operations, and with port users—such as terminals and shippers—to minimize those concerns.
Investing in your community
One way we help local communities flourish is by dedicating up to one per cent of our net income to community investment initiatives. Our community investment program supports initiatives that matter to local communities.
At a glance: Port of Vancouver economic impact
|At a local level, the Port of Vancouver is a significant employment and economic activity generator in communities throughout the Lower Mainland. Across Canada, direct employment supported by ongoing operations at the Port of Vancouver amount to more than 115,000 jobs. According to an economic impact study completed by InterVISTAS Consulting in 2016, activities of the Port of Vancouver terminals and tenants generated: