Cities Initiative looking to secure funding for competitive marine transport network in Ontario.
A group of Great Lakes mayors say Ontario should prioritize the maritime transport sector.
St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik, who is also the Chair of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, met with marine industry representatives today, as well as Port Colborne Mayor Bill Steele and Mayor George Cornell of the Township of Tiny.
The group, which represents more than 150 Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River mayors, says the Ontario government needs to create an effective Marine Strategy.
The group is also pushing for funding to build a competitive 21st century marine transport network in Ontario and across the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence network.
"A provincial marine strategy, including modernization of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway network, will offer a tremendous amount of opportunities for Ontario’s blue economy, including creating good jobs, attracting new employers and reducing congestion on our roads across our province," said Mayor Sendzik. "Marine transportation is the most environmentally friendly way to transport vital goods and the province can demonstrate their commitment to reducing emissions by supporting the maritime industry. Developing an Ontario Marine Strategy will also help maximize future access to the Welland Canal, identify opportunities to grow the marine sector across Ontario and help make the industry more competitive against other provinces who already support this essential sector."
The provincial government made a commitment to develop an Ontario Marine Strategy as part of its transportation plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe released in March 2022.
The Cities Initiative says it's pleased that the Ministry has started consulting with industry stakeholders, and hopes Ontario's Marine Strategy can be completed and funded this year.
According to the Marine Chamber of Commerce, ships deliver over 230 million metric tons of cargo on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway every year.