Why the Port supports Energy East

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From the moment the idea was first raised, Port Saint John, servicing our entire province, has been a strong supporter of the proposed Energy East pipeline that will bring western crude from Alberta to Eastern Canada.

It is true the pipeline will help the port grow, and increase our business and commercial activity, but first and foremost, this is a project that benefits the entire province. From Saint John to Edmundston to Shippagan and beyond, we’ve seen what impact our struggling economy has had on our communities and families in New Brunswick. Jobs have been hard to find and when that happens, people start looking elsewhere for work.

In fact, a lot of our young and skilled workers have already left the province to pursue opportunities in the oil and gas industry.

Energy East isn’t going to change that by itself, but it will go a long way to turn the economic tide in New Brunswick. This project will create more than 4,000 full time jobs throughout the province in the development, construction and operational phases of the project. That’s going to provide lots of opportunities for New Brunswickers who want to stay home and work, something that is sorely needed in the coming years.

And what’s also exciting about Energy East is that it gives New Brunswick an opportunity to become a more important player in the oil and gas industry. A recent report indicated that the oil and gas industry accounts for 20 per cent of private sector investment in Canada, and the sector is a big reason our country weathered the global economic storm of 2008 and 2009 better than most. With our refinery, LNG plant and related industries, New Brunswick already has a foothold in the sector. Energy East allows our port to become a gateway to the world for western crude, making us a powerful player in world markets.

At Port Saint John we believe this is an opportunity we can’t let slip through our fingers. It was great to see our Mayor and the Chairman of Enterprise Saint John appear before a Commons committee in Ottawa recently. The message was clear. This is an opportunity for the province to thrive without handouts from the public purse. Please let us succeed.

During the development and construction of this project many workers will be needed. New Brunswick-based companies will have the opportunity to bid on different contracts related to the construction and TransCanada is committed to using local companies and workers wherever possible. There will be spinoff business and jobs for motels, stores, trucking firms and suppliers of hardware and construction materials.

At Port Saint John, the main benefit will be seen once construction is complete, with increased shipping activity to and from our facilities. What’s advantageous for us is that we are very experienced with handling this type of cargo at our port. We are Eastern Canada’s largestport facility, currently handling over 28 million metric tonnes of cargo each year. Much of that business involves the import of crude and export of petroleum products produced by the largest refinery in Canada right here in Saint John. We have the expertise and desire to seamlessly and safely handle the increased activity that would be generated by Energy East.

Jobs are the first and foremost concern in our province now as we look to keep our people home. But it’s important to remember that Energy East will also generate roughly $700 million in tax revenue for the province, according to a report on the economic impact of the pipeline by Deloitte. That will go a long way to helping us control our provincial deficit and debt over the long term. That means less pressure on our health care and education systems, and better roads and services throughout the province. The positive impact of Energy East will be province-wide and long-lasting.

This is a critical year for Energy East as it formally enters the approval process. We believe it’s important that we rally together as a province, and make the argument that this is a project our province needs and wants in order to thrive. Port Saint John is only too happy to add its voice of support. As so many have noted, as goes the Port so goes the city and we believe so goes our Province. And that is something we should all be striving for.

Peter Gaulton is Chairman of Port Saint John. Jim Quinn is its President and CEO.

 

Blount Small Ship Adventures embarking from Port Saint John in 2015

ImageStarting in 2015, cruise ships will be setting sail from Port Saint John.

Just weeks after Port Saint John and the province jointly announced the findings of the home porting feasibility study, Blount Small Ship Adventures has confirmed that it will originate a Bay of Fundy cruise itinerary out of the Port City.

Port Saint John was deemed well-suited to become a home port for expedition-class ships, according to the results of the feasibility study. Blount’s customer offerings and line of ships fits well within this expedition-class of vessels, carrying 98 passengers on 7-16 day tours focused on unique destinations, educational opportunities and adventure.

“We are very pleased to be able to confirm that Blount Small Ship Adventures will be homeporting one of its cruises in Saint John in 2015,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Trevor Holder. “The Blount line will be the first to offer cruises where passengers will start or end their cruise experience right here in New Brunswick, and this signals to other similar companies that we’re anxious for their business, too.”

The Bay of Fundy experience and the unique features of the area are all drawing interest in the region.  As recognition of the brand expands, the province and Port will be looking to expand this niche business line. 

“Unlike the average visiting cruise ship, our Port won’t be the first stop for Blount passengers. They’ll experience the city before our world-class port becomes a gateway to this region’s natural wonders. We’re proud to be part of this bigger picture and be an economic driver for culture-building industries like hospitality, tourism and retail in the province,” said Peter Gaulton, chair of Port Saint John’s board of directors. 

The feasibility study examined the strategic position of Port Saint John on the Canada-New England itinerary of expedition-class ships. It evaluated tourism offerings of Saint John and what steps Port Saint John needs to take to become a home port of expedition-class ships. These are often high-end, niche-market vessels, carrying 50 to 200 passengers plus crew. Expedition cruises are often geared toward adventurers with specific interests such as exploring nature.

During a call to Port Saint John, passengers spend an average of $60 to $80. In the case of home porting, passengers spend up to twice these amounts. Most passengers visiting home ports stay at least one night in a hotel while spending money on meals and other incidentals.

“We are thrilled to announce this partnership and our continued commitment to New Brunswick and Port Saint John,” said Nancy Blount, President, Blount Small Ship Adventures. “We have already been operating in the destination as part of Blount’s ‘Classical Maine and the Northeast’ cruise, and know it is beloved by our customers for its historic cities, charming maritime villages and the beauty of its rocky shores jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. Beyond the stunning backdrop it provides, we understand the economic impact of calling Port Saint John home, and are proud to partner with the destination and contribute to its tourism development.”

Blount Small Ship Adventures epitomizes the best of small ship cruising, offering highly authentic and personal experiences aboard amazing ships that can simply go where the big ships can’t.

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Port City celebrities: Faces of FUSION boosts youth profile

ImageFaces of FUSION is like a night at the Oscars. Just trade the gold statues for handcrafted awards and Hollywood stars for Port City ones.

The awards ceremony and gala affair takes place February 28th at the Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal. Hosted by FUSION Saint John, a networking group for civic-minded Saint Johners, Faces of FUSION celebrates youth achievement in the community.

“It’s a source of inspiration for people. It’s an opportunity for the community to recognize young people for their hard work, even though they don’t do it for the recognition. These people are driven by passion,” Eric Savoie, chair of FUSION, said.

Finalists were unveiled online earlier this month. Winners will be announced at the celebration and, in keeping with the Evening at the Oscars theme, short video clips will showcase each finalist’s accomplishments.

Finalists are:

Arts & Culture

Apryll Stansfield

Third Space Gallery 

Personal Achievement

Adrian Phinney

Julia Wright

Immigrant Entrepreneur

Enchan Endo

Robert van de Straat & Christel Postel

Community Building

Greg Bishop

Phil Sweezey

Wendy MacDermott

Business & Entrepreneurship

Fundy CrossFit

Gilliane Nadeau

Micah Peterson

Sports & Recreation

Carly Baxter

Katie Robinson

Lisa Harlow

Port Saint John, as a sponsor, will be presenting the Personal Achievement Award. The awards themselves were designed by talented young woodworker Phil Savage, each as unique as the winners receiving them.

The evening is hyper local. In addition to celebrating Saint John youth, the food will be catered by East Coast Bistro, with Tomato Tomato and WTFunk getting the crowd moving. Hance Colburne, of CBC Information Morning, will act as MC. FUSION also partnered with creatives Kelly Lawson, Bonfire Stories and Lisa Hrabluk of Wicked Ideas. Atlantica Centre for the Arts filmed the nominee clips.

After the show, guests can take their ticket up to the Canterbury Lounge for free admission, Oscar after-party style.

“We’re aiming for Saint John to come out, dressed in their evening best and honour the achievers in our community. It’s a good opportunity to connect with people, network and talk about our community,” Savoie said.

The FUSION chair said finalists are humbled by their nominations. In fact, most of them aren’t even sure why their nominator threw their name in.

“That’s not unusual for people who have true passion in what they do. I think they are really honoured and humbled by it. Hopefully this will inspire people to get involved with causes close to their hearts,” he said.

Faces of FUSION rolls out the red carpet starting at 6:30 p.m. on February 28th at the Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal.  Entry into the gala is reserved for those 19 and over. Tickets are $60/each and special student ticket prices are discounted 50 per cent thanks to additional support from presenting sponsor CanaportLNG.

Purchase tickets here and click here for more information. 

Representing our region at Cargo Logistics Canada

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To get from Point A to Point B, commodities travel miles and modes. This is a supply chain.

On Jan. 29 and 30, logistics companies and professionals will also travel miles and modes for Cargo Logistics Canada, an international supply chain symposium.

Port Saint John manager of cargo development Shannon Blanchard will be among delegates heading to Vancouver for the symposium.  The Port is working alongside the Greater Moncton International Airport, Port of Belledune and provincial Department of Economic Development to promote the region to an audience of more than 1,500 delegates.

The New Brunswick consortium is also sponsoring two sessions and a VIP reception. They will be displaying a booth at the trade show, along with collaborative marketing materials.

Blanchard said the Port’s representation at the conference is two-fold.

“Our primary objective in participating at such a high level is to further promote and develop our business presence within the Port systems in Canada as being a container service provider with global connections. We’re still new in the game, and it is important for us to see our growth continue in this sector,” she said.

Last year, Port Saint John experienced immense growth in the container sector. Container tonnage increased by 59 per cent over 2012 statistics, with 76,269 TEUs. Since 2012, Port Saint John has welcomed two global connections – Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Hapag-Lloyd via long-time Port partner Tropical Shipping.

In addition to highlighting the Port’s increasing presence in container handling, Blanchard will be sharing information about the Port’s capabilities, land availability for establishing long-term leasing opportunities and break bulk capabilities.

The Port is uncongested, with rail and road connections through Atlantic and Central Canada, as well as New England. This is another feature Blanchard hopes to promote to industry leaders.

This is the inaugural Cargo Logistics Canada event. For that reason, Blanchard said it’s difficult to predict exactly who will be in attendance. The Port representative expects there will be delegates representing transportation assets, cargo owners, industry associations, logistics services and government.

For more information about Cargo Logistics Canada, check out their website: http://www.cargologisticscanada.com

2013: A year in review

Last year was a great one for Port Saint John. We saw major strides in container tonnage, celebrated 25 years in the cruise industry and brought even more people in to experience our state-of-the-art terminals. These highlights, among others, are listed below. In no particular order (we’re proud of them all!)  

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With the introduction of Mediterranean Shipping Company’s weekly service to Port Saint John in the fall of 2012, we began to see major increases in the volume of containerized goods travelling through the Port. This is great news for the local and regional economy.

Long-time Port stakeholder Tropical Shipping also announced they would be partnering with global container line Hapag-Lloyd shipping containers through Saint John.

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American Iron and Metal signed a 40-year lease with Port Saint John in 2011. In 2013, they completed a $30-million expansion of their business, including a metal recycling plant.

This year, the volume of recycled metals shipped through the Port increase from 71,000 metric tonnes to 215,000.

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Our third annual Community Day, the first part of Port Days, saw thousands of locals visiting the Port. They were invited to join us for a barbecue, tug boat display, games, inflatable castles, Canadian Forces display and more.

This, in combination with a Port Days fundraiser, raised $10,000 for PALS (Partners Assisting Local Schools). All of the money goes right back to children in need. Missed out on Community Day? Catch up here and mark down June 8, 2014 in your calendar for the next one.

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For two years, members of the Port Saint John team and PALS coordinators have been developing a classroom education plan to teach local students about the Port and it’s relation to the community.

The plan underwent testing with students and launched on Dec. 12. The education plan includes three topics: Dredging, Cruise and Cargo. It was developed with curriculum outcomes in mind and can be adapted for any grade level.

School tours of the Port have already begun booking for this semester. See here for more information.

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Hapag-Lloyd, a German company offering 90 liner services across all continents, began calling Port Saint John via Tropical Shipping in the fall.

Saint John has been the home base for Tropical’s Container services for the past 12 years and this new partnership will benefit local shippers and receivers.

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On Aug. 1, TransCanada announced big news for Saint John – and the port. Their proposed Energy East Pipeline Project, beginning in Alberta and Saskatchewan and ending in Montreal, Quebec City and Saint John, is expected to carry 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day.

Saint John will be an export terminal for western crude as part of the project. In May, the Port was part of a delegation of New Brunswick political and industry leaders visiting Calgary to promote the Port City.

Our long history of safety and commitment to sustainability makes our Port an ideal export terminal for Energy East.

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From an accidental arrival to a marquee Port – Saint John’s storied cruise history was highlighted in 2013.

Sept. 10 marked the 25th anniversary of the Cunard Princess, a ship rerouted due to Hurricane Gabrielle, arriving in Saint John. In 1989, citizens rolled out the red carpet for cruise passengers and gave them a hometown welcome. That same welcome has been extended to millions of cruise passengers since.

This year’s celebration was marked by crew appreciation, celebratory cupcakes at the City Market and the arrival of our two millionth cruise passenger. The cruise season wrapped up on Oct. 25 with Revel at the Lido, a Gatsby-esque celebration for the community at the Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal.

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We may be one of the city’s oldest industries, but we don’t want to act that way.

This year, the Port team embraced new media and a new look. In 2012, we rebranded from the Saint John Port Authority to Port Saint John. In 2013, we reinforced our new brand with a boosted social media presence (this blog included).

Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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We’re proud of our Port team’s accomplishments in 2013.

In June, the American Association of Port Authorities awarded the Port communications team:

  • Award of Excellence – Port Saint John Social Media Engagement Strategy in the Social/Web-based media category
  • Award of Excellence – “Where the City Begins” Video in the video category  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUfcCSFJ_EA
  • Award of Distinction – #portcity Event in the Special Events category, and
  • Award of Distinction – Port Saint John Re-brand in the Overall Campaign Category

The “Where the City Begins” video was produced with the help of Hemmings House and National Public Relations. National also played a big role in the Port’s rebrand.

In May, the Port was recognized by the Department of Economic Development and the Canadian Manufacturers for export excellence. The Port was honoured with the Collaborative Partnership Award along with the Greater Moncton International Airport. The award is given to organizations that champion New Brunswick exporters and help them access the world market.

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Port Saint John’s new cruise terminals are the first thing passengers see when they disembark.

These airy, modern spaces have emerged as rental venues among married couples-to-be, event planners and businesses. In 2013, the cruise terminals were rented more than 60 times.

We look forward to welcoming more people in to experience the beauty of the waterfront in 2014.

Bringing the Port to the classroom

 

ImageFor many students, the Port is right in their front yard. Starting this week, it’s in their classrooms, too.

 

Port Saint John, in partnership with PALS (Partners Assisting Local Schools) and the Anglophone South School District, is launching lesson plans about the Port and Maritime industries. The education program is designed to complement many areas of the curriculum and can be adapted for many grade levels.

 

“Students may see the Port every day, but they may not be aware of who we are or what we do. Each lesson plan developed between the Port and PALS team informs students about an important piece of their community and regional economy. We want them to learn about our industry in an exciting and creative way. Not only will it contribute to making them well-informed citizens, but it may also open their minds to future career possibilities,” Jim Quinn, president and CEO of Port Saint John, said.

 

On Thursday morning, Quinn took the first group of students from Centennial School on a tour of the Port. Centennial School staff were helpful in focus-testing the resource as it was developed.

The Grades 2 and 3 students were shown a short presentation before touring the Port. They saw the Port facilities from the inside, including a special bus ride between the cranes and into the potash terminal. All sights were met with gasps of excitement and curiosity.

 

There are three unique lesson plans: Ports and Cargo, Cruise and Dredging. Port Saint John has made lesson plans available online and is already booking tours for teachers eager to help their students learn more about the Port.

 

“We are so pleased to enter this next phase of our PALS at the Port partnership. Port Saint John is at the heart of the city and, with this new resource, the students and staff of local schools will have an exciting way to become better acquainted with the Port and what it means to our community. Extending learning beyond the classroom broadens the horizons of our young people. Thank you to all who have made it possible,” Deborah Fisher, PALS co-ordinator, said.  

 

Making southern New Brunswick shine.

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The Port City’s largest tree is ready to light up the skyline.
Located at Long Wharf, the Harbour Lights tree has long been a beacon in the city. It signifies Christmas and generosity. As people buy bulbs, money supports 13 community food banks from St. Stephen to Sussex.
Each bulb is $2 and a string of bulbs is $200.
Once fifty-thousand dollars is reached the star is lit atop the tree.
For people like Carolyn Danells, the Harbour Lights tree is more than Christmas decor. It means more food for people in need. Danells chairs the Saint John Community Food Basket’s board of directors, one of the beneficiaries of the Harbour Lights campaign.
Every Tuesday and Friday, people in need visit this south end institution for necessities like eggs, bread and canned goods. From April to December, the Community Food Basket fills 500 orders a month. In the winter months, when costs rise, their numbers double.
That’s why Danells said the Community Food Basket appreciates the extra boost around the holiday season.
“Our thanks go out to everybody that supports the Harbour Lights tree. If I could print out a huge thank you letter in the paper, I would,” she said.
“Everybody in Saint John and the surrounding area is good with our food bank. People in this area are so generous and we appreciate it.”
The campaign wraps up on Dec. 24.
For details about how to support the Harbour Lights campaign, visit http://www.cbc.ca/nb/community/events/harbourlights/.

You can also donate through Canada Helps. https://www.canadahelps.org/dn/16785

About the video:
Every year, the hard-working infrastructure support team at Port Saint John erects the Harbour Lights tree at Long Wharf. And, every year, the citizens of this community ensure it lights up the sky. Many thanks to the team at CBC for producing this timelapse video and for the hard work their staff puts into the campaign each year.