Ready for economic recovery
I hope 2014 got off to a great start for you. At the Port of Montreal, we hit the ground running.
The year 2013 ended with the adoption of a free-trade agreement between Europe and Canada, which promises to increase the volume of freight transported in the coming years.
Good thing we’re prepared to face the music! We boosted our container capacity to 200,000 TEUs by redeveloping the Viau and Maisonneuve sectors, and we can now accommodate post-Panamax-type vessels. What’s more, our new partner CanEst Transit will launch its operations in 2014 in the annex of the Port’s old Grain Elevator No. 3, marking a new era of value-added services at the Port of Montreal. CanEst Transit is a specialist in the containerization of agricultural products for local and international markets.
Among the projects for 2014, I’d like to draw your attention to the Port’s willingness to continue optimizing its infrastructures to adapt them to the growth in traffic, as well as our intention to improve the flow of truck and rail traffic. We want to achieve these objectives while providing responsible leadership that respects the environment and the community. This is our role as a citizen port.
I could not close without saluting Harbour Master Jean-Luc Bédard. Jean-Luc retired in January after a very successful career that spanned 23 years at the Port of Montreal. Of his many traits and skills, what stands out for me is that he turned work into passion, that he infused everything he did with colour, and that he had the gift of discussing high-level strategy without losing sight of everyday contingencies. And he didn’t count his hours of work! Jean-Luc, thank you for your dedication. May you fully enjoy your retirement!
In the same breath, I congratulate Daniel Dagenais, who took over from Jean-Luc as Vice-President of Port Operations. Daniel had been Director of Operations since 2007 after earning his stripes with terminal operators. He has an intimate knowledge of port activities and he’s a solid manager. The Port of Montreal is well served indeed with him on board.
I would also like to welcome Christian Demers, our new Harbour Master. In a constantly changing environment, there is no lack of action; he will find plenty here to fuel his drive to excel.