The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) is an autonomous federal agency created under the terms of the Canada Marine Act. It does everything in its power to make the Port of Montreal as competitive as possible, and from this perspective provides first-rate facilities to sea and land carriers, to terminal operators and to shippers.
The Port Authority builds and maintains infrastructures that it leases to private stevedoring companies. These companies, as well as shipping lines, are represented by the Maritime Employers Association, which employs the longshoremen at the port.
The MPA directly operates a passenger terminal and its own railway network, which includes more than 100 kilometres (60 miles) of track and provides transcontinental railways with direct access to almost every berth.
The agency's Board of Directors is made up of seven businesspeople from the Montreal area. Each of the three levels of government – federal, provincial and municipal – names a director. The federal transport minister, on the recommendation of port users, names the remaining four directors. The board is autonomous and elects its own chairman.