Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A first glimpse at the BC Budget, some helpful proclomations for the Port of Prince Rupert, a call for a BC Summit and looking further into the operational climate at Ridley Terminals. Some of the items of note in the Tuesday news cycle.

DAILY NEWS, Headline story, Tuesday, August 25, 2009
PHASE 2 OF THE PORT VITAL TO CANADA`S EXPORT GROWTH-- The Port of Prince Rupert is hosting a gathering of Canada`s top officials when it comes to transportation and our ports, and on day one, they were saying just what Don Krusel would want to hear (see story here) item is provided at the bottom of this post as well.

After another disturbing turn in the salmon season for this year, the NDP is calling for a BC Summit on the state of the west coast fishery. (see story here)

The Daily News continues its look at Ridley Terminals in the wake of the recent events surrounding former chairman Dan Veniez, today`s installment looks at Veniez`s replacement Bud Smith (see story here)

The Sports section for Tuesday reviews the efforts of a trio of retired and current fire fighters who participated in the World Police and Fire Games in Vancouver (see story here)

NORTHERN VIEW website extra
Throne speech highlights for the Northwest-- The Northern View outlined some of the key points for the Northwest from the BC Speech from the Throne on Tuesday (see story here)
Daily News, headline story:
Phase 2 of the port vital to Canada's export growth
By George T. Baker
The Prince Rupert Daily News
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"I would love to see phase two of the container terminal expedited," announced Peter Hall.

At the back of the banquet room on Monday, Don Krusel may have been seated furthest away from Peter Hall, but the president and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority could hear Hall's message as clearly as if it was whispered sweetly into his ear.

Hall, as Export Development Canada's Chief Economist, was addressing an attentive crowd at the 51st Association of Canadian Port Authorities Conference.

The three-day conference is being hosted in Prince Rupert this year at Chances Gaming Centre.

Hall's proclaimed desire for the development of phase two of the port was due to the fact that Canada is currently falling behind in trade growth in comparison to major trading partners.

"Long term, Canada is projecting an eight per cent increase [in trade], but globally the increase will average 11 per cent. However, if phase two went ahead, we would see a 30 to 40 per cent increase in growth in Canada," Hall predicted.

Asia is a major theme at the Association of Canadian Port Authorities Conference. China is quickly becoming the world's largest consumer of goods and most speakers on Monday said they felt Canada should get aboard this boat before it leaves dock. Krusel was pardonably pleased that the Prince Rupert port was recognized as a vital player in the long-term potential of Canadian export. He said his team is certainly willing to get to work on what they can do.

"It is all focused on infrastructure," said Krusel. "This is the age of the Asian Pacific market."The on-going story around Prince Rupert is that the development of the port is linked to the development of the city.

Prince Rupert Mayor Jack Mussallem said Hall's comments were a reflection of what he already believed to be true. "

The fact that Hall mentioned this is not news to many people here, but we need to consider that when we come out on the other side of the [recession] bubble, one of the main challenges for ports will be efficiency. A lot of future is tied to that."

Mussallem added that, for Prince Rupert, one of the challenges of the port's emergence would be determining how the community best capitalizes on its opportunity.

"Part of that will come through our Economic Development Office and the other part in our land use planning. We see ourselves as being a conduit for economic activity in other North American centres," said Mussallem.

The good news that came out of Hall's message was accompanied by a sobering message about telling the recovery story right.

Hall said it is time to say it like it is - that it's time for those pressuring for good news about the economy during a recession to ease. His second message to audience members was that forcing good news into the media only made things worse.

"It's the facts that need to be told," said Hall, pointing out that people wouldn't believe anything else."We are forecasting a two per cent contraction in the Canadian economy for 2009.

Next year we expect a one per cent increase in production - but in an industrialized nation, that folks, is still a recession," said Hall.

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