The Port of Prince Rupert welcomed the opening celebrations of Phase 2 of DP World’s Fairview Terminal.
The project has been underway for the last ten years and has revitalized the port, Prince Rupert, and surrounding communities.
Tuesday’s celebrations highlighted the dedication the investors have in making the Port of Prince Rupert one of the most successful ports in the country.
Mayor of Lax Kw’alaams, John Helin, relished in the prosperity and employment his community has seen since the port renewal. He also commented on the success of businesses, especially the fish plant, in the last year.
Local First Nations reaffirmed their support of progress. Helin went on to say that they need to evolve and change with what’s happening today- and the port is part of that progress.
40-50 members of Lax Kw’alaams are working at the Port, and the local union has a 40 per cent indigenous membership. Helin says as time goes on and stronger relationships are built, the number of First Nations employed within the port will increase.
Harold Leighton, the elected chief of Metlakatla, says this port has been good for their community and has lowered the number of people who have to leave the territory to find work.
Leighton says for Metlakatla, the economic development over the past two years has made their community sustainable and they want to continue the opportunity for employment of their people and says they’re looking forward to Phase 2 South, which is slated to be completed for 2020. Leighton also expressed their support for development- as long as language, culture and the environment are not sacrificed in the process.
Lax Kw’alaams Hereditary Chief called upon the investors of the port to put up a memorial for the lost graves that were once on the site that is now Phase 2, and retold the story of the People of the Kelp.
The suggestion for a memorial pole to be erected was widely received and President/CEO of the Port Authority Don Krusel gladly accepted this challenged and looks forward to working with the local First Nations to erect a memorial for those whose lands the port sits on.
The $200 million Phase 2 expansion of the port has put Prince Rupert as the second-largest container handling facility in Canada, after Vancouver.
Corporate partners went on to boast about the 1.3 million containers that go through the port a year, and the 800 regular employees of the port, acknowledging the success of the port is only because of the dedicated workers that have been working tirelessly at its expansion, with Krusel stating “we have the best workforce in North America at Fairview Terminal”.
This ribbon-cutting celebration marked 10 years since the first container ship arrived, and the completion of the expansion of the project. Since its conversion from a break-bulk facility, it has become the fastest growing port in North America. The port has created a competitive edge as it is 1 day closer to the heartland by train, as well as the closest in proximity to Asia by three days and has direct access to the most reliable rail network on the west coast.
100% of the containers that come through the port are destined for thousands of miles inland- something no other port can say. CN is a full partner in the port, one of the original investors and the lead marketer. The port has more than 6,000 feet of on-dock rail, which helps make it one of the fastest and most reliable terminal services.
The port has also established a reputation as one of the fastest and most reliable trans-Pacific trade gateways. This new terminal is “big ship ready” and as the cargo capacity goes up they will be hiring over 200 additional personnel in the new year, as President of the ILWU Local 505 Glen Edwards jokingly stated “If anyone knows anybody in town that needs a job- they can probably get one.”
Community members celebrated the success with a free BBQ lunch, games, bouncy castles and live music.