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Recent News

Cross-Border Ties: Work on Major Project Connecting USA and Canada is Well Under Way

The Windsor-Detroit trade corridor is the busiest commercial land border crossing between Canada and the USA as well as an important trade and transportation route. Some 7,000 trucks cross the Windsor-Detroit border each day, totalling about 2.5 million trucks each year. In 2017, this represented over US$106.5 billion in bilateral trade. Currently, vehicular crossing is allowed via the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel and the Ambassador Bridge, neither of which provides direct highway connections.

The Gordie Howe International Bridge will provide an essential additional crossing option through six new lanes of traffic, ensuring effective and safe fl ow of people and goods between the two nations. The project involves a 2.5km long bridge, a port of entry in each country and the Michigan Interchange connecting to Interstate 75. Together, these four components will provide direct highway connections between the two countries, thereby reducing costs associated with shipping and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants resulting from idling vehicles. Key features, such as a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists, LEED Silver rating for buildings and a community benefits plan, will result in positive environmental and community impacts as well. The bridge is named the Gordie Howe in recognition of the legendary hockey player, a Canadian who led the Detroit Red Wings to four Stanley Cups.

The idea for the new crossing has been under study since 2000, but it was in July 2018 that the owner, Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) announced that Bridging North America (BNA) had been selected as the preferred proponent to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Gordie Howe International Bridge project through a public-private partnership. BNA is a partnership of Fluor, ACS Infrastructure Canada and Aecon Group. Aecom is BNA’s design engineer/engineer of record.

After signing a US$5.7-billion fi xed-price contract, BNA started construction in 2018, presenting a 74-month construction schedule to complete the four components of the project with the bridge expected to be in service by the end of 2024. WDBA is a not-for-profit Crown corporation of Canada responsible for the delivery and operation of the Gordie Howe International Bridge. Parsons, as owner’s engineer (OE), has worked with WDBA to determine project requirements and to evaluate proponents, and is now overseeing design and construction.

All proponents were required to present design options for the main bridge spanning the Detroit River that were either cable-stayed or suspension. The design submitted by BNA is a 2.5km long bridge, comprising a 1,562m long cable-stayed bridge plus approaches. The towers are 219m tall and are built on the ground because of commitments made through the environmental study process to limit impacts to commercial users of the Detroit River and to limit impact on the natural environment. This resulted in the 853m-long clear span, breaking the record for the longest main span of any cable-stayed bridge in North America. This is only 3m shorter than the main span of Normandy Bridge, from which the Gordie Howe International Bridge design concept is inspired.

The depth of the bedrock is approximately 30m at the site of the cable-stayed bridge, the top layer consists of limestone, followed by dolomitic and dolostone rock types. Artesian conditions at the interface of overburden and bedrock were confirmed by geotechnical investigations, as well as the presence of hydrogen sulphide in the groundwater.

Another environmental challenge of the site is it is prone to maximum one-hour mean speed up to 42m/s and three-second gusts of up to 60m/s at deck level. The site is in a stable continental region, recording low levels of seismicity in historical times, with only 22 events having been reported within 100km of the site. Potential ship impact forces are high, making it one of the governing load cases for tower design.

WDBA and the OE defined the design requirements for the bridge. One driving requirement is a dual-track design approach where the most stringent of a series of US design standards and of Canadian design standards are applied to the whole length of the bridge. Namely, the CHBDC S6-14 edition for the Canadian track, and AASHTO LRFD 8th edition for the US track. A project-specific, live-load study was conducted while developing the design requirements to defi ne live load configurations and combinations used in design, comprising commercial vehicle lanes and mixed vehicle lanes to represent the unique traffic pattern for border crossing. Another key element of design requirements for the bridge, driving most construction specifications developed by the designer, is a 125-year required service life for all permanent elements which shall be demonstrated by the designer with a detailed durability plan, involving the use of Stadium for service life modelling. Other unique features include a requirement for all steel tension members and connections to be designed with redundancy provisions for the future installation of an active stay-deicing system involving real time meteorological monitoring, and wind tunnel testing.

The cable-stayed bridge deck is 37.5m wide and consists of steel edge girders, steel floor beams, and longitudinal redundancy girders, all composite with a concrete deck slab. Precast concrete deck panels are transversely post-tensioned along the entire length and longitudinally post-tensioned near the ends of the bridge as well as in the centre of the main span. The deck system is enclosed into a box shape by the bottom soffit system and two aerodynamic claddings on the side. A total of 216 stays, organised in two planes, connect the outside edges of the deck to the two reinforced concrete A-shaped towers. The top of each tower rises up to 219m above the footings, and the tower head as well as its legs are hollow sections, except a portion of the legs around deck level.

The stay cables are parallel-strand system with individually sheathed and filled 7-wire 150mm2 strands, varying in number from 38 to 122, encased in an outer extruded HDPE sheath. Tower stay anchors are steel boxes inside the box-shaped concrete tower head, and deck anchors are pipe-shaped anchors attaching to the exterior sides of the steel edge girders. At grade level, a 49m long post-tensioned tie-beam connects the two tower leg footings, balancing the horizontal reaction forces coming from the inclined tower legs. Tower foundations are composed of 12 drilled shafts per tower (six per footing), 3m in diameter.

Each backspan is supported by two concrete side span piers and one concrete anchor pier. Two hollow reinforced concrete columns form each of the backspan piers, where each column is founded on one single 3m diameter drilled shaft. Only at the US tower the deck is permanently fixed longitudinally through restraint between tower leg corbels and steel longitudinal bearing brackets attached to the steel deck system. At the Canadian tower, lock-up devices will allow slowly induced longitudinal movements such as temperature variations, but will lock and provide fixity under wind, seismic or other dynamic load movements. As a result, the modular joint on the Canadian end of the cable stayed bridge needs to accommodate about twice what is required of the US modular joint.

The bridge will be equipped with an inspection gantry which can ride along the bottom soffit from one end to the other. Access ladders and platforms will allow inspection inside and outside the piers, while elevators will allow access inside the hollow portions of the towers. Aesthetic lighting on the bridge will be developed in conjunction with an artist and considered to be a public art commission.

The project required the bridge to be protected from unacceptable damage due to aberrant vessels operating in the river, taking account of the seawalls and auxiliary structures. Equivalent forces used in analysis for design purpose are a full vessel collision force of 160MN applied on the seawalls at ±30° from the centreline axis of the navigation channel, half the vessel collision force (80MN) applied perpendicular to the seawalls and a ship collision force on the superstructure with mast of 2.2MN.

The other governing load for tower foundation design is wind. Wind loads on the cable-stayed bridge were established by wind tunnel testing conducted by RWDI and were used to determine construction phases. Work at the site is progressing with deep foundations for the cable-stayed bridge nearing completion. At the start of drilled shafts construction work, crews on each side of the river performed a full-size test/technique shaft to verify, not only geotechnical and structural capacity, but also means and methods.

Tower footing construction work is under preparation, with concrete sample panels being cast and inspected to ensure uniformity of the tower aesthetics, and with construction mockups being prepared for footings and tower legs that will allow verification of key construction means and methods, as well as of materials and techniques used for patching and small repairs. Construction of the two towers is scheduled for completion in 2022, while construction of the backspan superstructure is expected to finish in 2024. BNA has elected to build the backspan superstructure using a series of temporary bents. This will allow start of construction of the deck prior to the towers being completed. Overall completion of the bridge and opening is planned for the end of 2024.

Zaher Yousif is senior director, bridges and roads, Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority; Matthew J Chynoweth is chief bridge engineer and director of Bureau of Bridges and Structures, Michigan Department of Transportation; Martin Furrer is programme director at Parsons

Canada’s Airports Look Forward to Working with the Federal Government on Financial Support for the Sector

With passenger traffic down by more than 85 per cent in July and August, and no end in sight to travel restrictions and quarantine requirements, Canada’s airports look forward to continued engagement with the federal government on financial support for the sector.  The Speech from the Throne offered some hope in recognizing particularly hard hit sectors, including aviation, but time is of the essence:  without action, the damage done to airports and the communities they serve may be take years to repair.

Canada’s Airports Look Forward to Working with the Federal Government on Financial Support for the Sector, September 23, 2020,

McMaster HealthLabs, Air Canada and Greater Toronto Airports Authority to Conduct a Voluntary COVID-19 Study of Arriving International Travellers

McMaster HealthLabs (MHL), Air Canada and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) on September 3, 2020 announced that they will partner on a voluntary COVID-19 study of international travellers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The study’s core purpose is to gather information to explore the effectiveness of various quarantine periods for travellers. MHL is a non-profit organization that develops COVID-19 research initiatives and testing solutions to accelerate business recovery during the pandemic.

McMaster HealthLabs, Air Canada and Greater Toronto Airports Authority to Conduct a Voluntary COVID-19 Study of Arriving International Travellers, September 3, 2020,

Summary document – Air Cargo & Supply Chains Virtual Meeting with Minister Garneau

On June 26, 2020, Greater Toronto Airports Authority and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce hosted Minister of Transport, The Honourable Marc Garneau, for a discussion with stakeholders from the critical air cargo component of the nation’s supply chain. The insights from this discussion will help shape the sustained movement of critical cargo operations throughout Canada as we continue the fight against COVID-19 and its impacts as well as our country’s economic restart and recovery. Please click here to read the embargoed summary document and takeaways from this meeting.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Chao Releases Pathways to the Future of Transportation

One year after announcing the launch of the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) Council, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao on July 23, 2020 released ‘Pathways to the Future of Transportation’, a policy document that is intended to serve as a roadmap for innovators of new cross modal technologies to engage with the Department.   Chao said “Pathways to the Future of Transportation guidance on new, cross-modal technologies will help address legitimate public concerns about safety, security and privacy without hampering innovation.”   (July 23, 2020,

Invitation: Miller Thomson Transport & Logistics Webinar – Wed, July 29

Miller Thomson LLP is hosting their second webinar scheduled for Wed, July 29 at 2 PM ET, and will address Labour, Employment & Occupational Health and Safety Issues as Businesses Reopen, particularly in the context of challenges confronting carriers, 3PLs, brokers and freight forwarders.

Click here for a copy of the invite. The invite has live links for individuals to register directly for the webinar and once registered, you will receive the link to the webinar a day prior to the event.

‘Queen of the Skies’ 50 Years of the 747

The beautiful Boeing 747-100 didn’t just introduce a little more glamor into air travel; it also helped make air travel more affordable for the masses. Join Jennifer Coutts Clay CMILT, Author of JETLINER CABINS, as she celebrates 50 years of the Queen of the Skies in the Aircraft Interiors International Magazine‘s 2019 Design Showcase.

Click here to read the publication.

 December 2018, Aircraft Interiors International Magazine’s 2019 Design Showcase – – Jennifer Coutts Clay CMILT, Author of JETLINER CABINS

Feds Buy Vaccine Supplies, Seek Logistics Contractor

The federal government is ordering more than 75 million syringes, alcohol swabs and bandages so it can inoculate Canadians as soon as a COVID-19 vaccine is ready.  Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Ottawa intends to stockpile enough vaccine supplies to give at least two doses to every Canadian whenever a vaccine is available.  The contracts for the syringes are already in place but bids for the other supplies opened last week and will be accepted until the end of July 2020.  Ottawa is seeking a private company to take over the logistics of ordering, receiving, storing and distributing PPE every month.

Feds buy vaccine supplies, seek logistics contractor, July 20, 2020,

Open Call for the Chairperson Position at the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada

The Government of Canada has launched an open selection process to fill the Chairperson and member position at the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada.

 As an administrative tribunal with quasi-judicial powers, the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada (TATC) has the responsibility of processing and deciding reviews and appeals of certain decisions by the Department of Transport and the Canadian Transportation Agency. As such, it provides the transportation community with the opportunity to have enforcement and licensing decisions reviewed by an independent body.

The Chairperson interprets and administers the provisions of the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act, the Aeronautics Act, the Railway Safety Act, the Canada Transportation Act, the Canada Shipping Act, the Marine Transportation Security Act and any other federal act relevant to the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada. The Chairperson has supervision over, and direction of, the work of the Tribunal, including the apportionment of work among Members and the assignment of Members to hear matters brought before the Tribunal. The Chairperson may also adjudicate reviews or appeal hearings. The Chairperson oversees the management of the Tribunal’s internal affairs and represents the Tribunal to the public and to the transportation community.

Further details about the Tribunal and its activities can be found on its website:


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Toronto Pearson Launches Healthy Airport Program Featuring Innovative Partnership with BlueDot

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which operates and maintains Toronto Pearson, today launched its “Healthy Airport” commitment, a comprehensive program that outlines the steps the airport and its partners are taking to be ready for the new realities of air travel, and to lead the aviation industry in advancing the future of healthy travel corridors. Today’s announcement also includes a strategic partnership with BlueDot, a leader in advanced data analytics and technologies to predict and monitor infectious disease risks.

Toronto Pearson’s Healthy Airport commitment and health measures are aligned with the global aviation measures established by the International Civil Aviation Authority, International Air Transport Association, and Transport Canada’s framework for addressing COVID-19 and the recovery of the aviation sector.

“Toronto Pearson is an international leader in the aviation sector, having set the standard for exceptional passenger service among large North American airports for three years in a row,” said Deborah Flint, President and CEO of the GTAA. “As government restrictions on air travel begin to be lifted and flights increase, Toronto Pearson is ready, and we are intent on exceeding international standards. Everyone who works at Toronto Pearson is dedicated to playing a leadership role in fulfilling the health protection measures and adapting quickly to changes and future standards. We are dedicated each day to providing the pathway for Canadians who are dreaming of the day they can travel again.”

Passengers will experience the airport’s five point Healthy Airport commitment, which includes the highest standards for cleaning and hygiene, clear communications and the introduction of innovative technology advancements, including touchless check-in, a disinfection corridor for airport workers, facility monitoring for congestion, autonomous floor cleaning machines and air quality monitors. Additionally, the GTAA has partnered with BlueDot to monitor and manage risk from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. The Canadian technology company’s world-leading insights platform will power the GTAA’s commitment to preparedness and resilience.

In addition to measures introduced by the GTAA on June 1 – mandatory masks, limited access to airport facilities, continued enhanced cleaning and hygiene and increased signage for physical distancing – today’s Healthy Airport announcement includes the following commitment to passengers and airport workers:

  • We commit to making passenger and employee health our top priority.
  • We commit to working with our partners to set strong, consistent standards for passenger and airport worker health.
  • We will deploy multi-layered tools and adjust quickly to changes and current intelligence.
  • We will ensure our approach is best in class and aligned with international aviation standards.
  • We will explore all innovative and technologically advanced solutions for ensuring the safety of our passengers and employees.

Many of the 400-plus organizations operating out of Toronto Pearson—including air carriers and transit agencies—are implementing health and cleaning measures, and are working with the GTAA to ensure their employees comply with the airport’s new commitment, as well as with requirements established by federal, provincial and municipal health authorities. In addition to conducting airport-wide workforce education sessions, the GTAA has worked with public health officials and a growing number of airport employers to develop a voluntary COVID-19 case log. Moreover, the GTAA is working with Wipro, a global technology leader, to conduct a pilot of wearable tracing and physical distancing technology for airport workers.

Passenger confidence in Canada’s travel industry is of the utmost importance, and the Toronto Pearson workforce is dedicated to building public trust that the aviation sector takes health issues and their well-being seriously.

As regional and national rules and restrictions ease in the coming weeks and months, Toronto Pearson employers will continue to work with the Government of Canada to assess risk and to encourage a logical and reasonable return of domestic and international travels.


“Toronto Pearson’s ‘Healthy Airport’ Initiative demonstrates leadership and a commitment of the airport and its partners to ensure the health and safety of employees and visitors to the airport during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. Lawrence Loh, Interim Medical Officer of Health, Region of Peel.

“The global airport industry is facing unprecedented challenges because of COVID-19. As Toronto Pearson airport is preparing for the ‘new normal’, Wipro, through our deep domain expertise and experience in implementing digital innovations and technologies, is assisting the airport in bringing the Healthy Airport concept to life. This is enabled through a bouquet of contactless solutions and digital technologies for enhancing the passengers’ safety and experience. Working together with the airport stakeholders we strive to safeguard the health and safety of passengers and airport staff.”  Sahadev Singh, Vice President & Global Head, Wipro Limited.

“Smarter airports deliver a safer experience for travellers. And safer travellers contribute to a healthier world. BlueDot is incredibly proud to partner with the GTAA to use advanced data analytics and digital technologies to stay a step ahead of global infectious disease risks.” Dr. Kamran Khan, founder and CEO of BlueDot and practicing infectious disease physician.

“Airport workers want to see the return of travel. The future of our airport community will be shaped by our collective response to this unprecedented crisis. The Toronto Airport Workers’ Council has worked closely with the GTAA to develop and re-invest in industry leading health and safety standards. We remain committed to making passenger and workers’ health our top priority while ensuring these changes benefit all who fly through and work at our Airport. We look forward to welcoming travellers back into Toronto Pearson, a model for healthy airports everywhere.” Steven Tufts, Spokesperson, Toronto Airport Workers’ Council.

To read full article, please go to:

Port of Montreal Hits Records Again in 2019

The Port of Montreal had a sixth consecutive record year in 2019. Total volume of goods reached 40.6 million tonnes, up 4.3 percent from 2018. President and CEO Sylvie Vachon, accompanied by the chair of the Board of Directors, presented the operating results for 2019 during a virtual annual meeting on June 15, 2020. The container sector also set a new record with 15.1 million tonnes of containerized cargo and 1.75 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). Market diversification continued: 27 percent of containerized trade was with Asia (an eight percent increase), five percent with South America and four percent with Africa and Oceania. At 57 percent, Europe remained the main market. At the same time, trade with the U.S. Midwest enjoyed an 11 percent upswing.

Port of Montreal hits records again in 2019, June 16, 2020,

Cautious Optimism Guides B.C. Aviation Industry

Air operators and airports must remain agile as they navigate the ever-shifting roadmap to post-pandemic recovery. Read full article at:

PRESENTATION AND VIDEO AVAILABLE- Pathways to Canada/US Border Recovery Webinar presented by with Gerry Bruno – June 17
CILTNA’s second webinar, Pathways to Canada/US Border Recovery presented by with Gerry Bruno happened on June 17th.

The presentation slides and YouTube video can be viewed here:

Air Canada CEO Pleads with Trudeau Government to Let Airlines Fly Again

Calin Rovinescu said the government’s rules on travellers are now ‘disproportionate’ as the COVID-19 pandemic eases in many regions. Canada should loosen travel restrictions and “enable us to do some reasonable amounts of business,” the head of Air Canada said. Chief Executive Officer Calin Rovinescu said the Canadian government’s rules on travellers are now “disproportionate” as the COVID-19 pandemic eases in many regions. Most international flights have been cancelled and the U.S.-Canada border has been shut to all but essential travel since March 21, 2020. That could be extended past the planned June 21 expiry, the CBC and Reuters reported this week.

Air Canada CEO pleads with Trudeau government to let airlines fly again, June 11, 2020,

Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) Webinar 'Responding to Disruption: Quick Fix or Profound Change?'

CILTNA member, Jennifer Coutts Clay, Author, JETLINER CABINS e-book app will moderate the upcoming webinar on July 1, 2020 at 10 AM EST (7 AM PST).

In this webinar, Johannes Lampela, Director of Design, Los Angeles, Designworks (A BMW Group Company), will draw on learnings from disruptions in the automotive space to explore how they relate to aviation. The session will review a “post-COVID design brief for a better cabin experience and a focus on what matters to the customer.”

This session poses key questions about the challenge ahead for aviation, rethinking the “what next” to address key questions: How do we best reassure customers? How do we create comfort in feeling safe, cared for, and in control? Lampela proposes an “experience first — inside out approach” to cabin design, to design experiences which rebuild trust, moment by moment.

Participants in this webinar will also have an opportunity to download the new case study 2020 CABIN HEALTH ALERTS which is being added to Jetliner Cabins Chapter 9 ‘Look Smart: Keep Clean’ and examines the latest trends in managing the outbreak while taking care of passenger well-being and preserving the airline brand. Featuring insights from medical and industry experts, Jetliner Cabins author Jetliner Coutts Clay explores key considerations for healthy flight: Cabin Air Filters, Air Travel Hygiene, Rethinking the Aircraft Seat, Sanitizing the Cabin, Communicating Covid-19 Cabin Concepts, Airport Hygiene, Passenger Care in the Cabin and Future Flying Healthy. As Jetliner Cabins readers have come to expect from this unique E-Book app, the informative content is supplemented by rich images of flying healthy solutions, and a listing of companies and experts.

To register for this webinar, please visit:

CN Benefits from British Columbia’s Growing Propane Exports

Three vessels carrying Canadian propane destined for international markets departed from AltaGas’ Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal on April 11, 2020, beating a previous record by 50%, according to CN. CN exclusively serves the facilities at the Port of Prince Rupert, which is where the AltaGas Ridley Terminal is located. The terminal has moved over 1 million metric tonnes of propane since it launched in May 2019. The increase in propane export volumes comes amid ongoing capacity expansions to grow propane export volumes out of British Columbia. Usually two vessels leave the Port of Prince Rupert monthly with propane, but this week, it was three vessels, according to CN.

CN benefits from British Columbia’s growing propane exports, June 11, 2020,

Some Positives Occurring in this COVID Decimated Aviation Industry

Increased scheduled services for June, good energy for Youth Engagement Committee’s first COVID webinar, Transport Canada being extremely responsive on regulatory needs and launches examination of regional services, flight schools moving forward.

While there is still a long, long way to go, there have been many indications that our industry is slowly moving forward again. Several air operators of all sizes announced service increases for June and beyond. While they are generally talked about as flights per week, not day, it is a very welcome sight.

The Council is very concerned about the impact COVID-19 is having on the next generation of aviators. The industry has gone from a desperate need for human resources to massive layoffs in just three months. However, the Youth Engagement Committee is rising to the challenge. Its first webinar was a huge (over 60 participants), energy filled success. TPD Human Resources presented resumé building tips, Jazz discussed what they look for in a (virtual) interview, updates from a number of companies that attended the packed Waypoint Industry Connections night in January, and some future thinking thoughts by our Board Chair, Heather Bell. Our youth are in it for the long haul and it was great to see. The webinar and materials are being posted on our website.

Transport Canada has moved very quickly issuing exemptions to ensure the industry can response effectively and safely to the challenge. They are to be commended for their efforts. It is greatly appreciated. In addition, Transport Canada has launched a review of COVID’s impact on “smaller” airports and air operators. This is most welcomed as historically the 26 National Airport System operations and the national airlines have dominated the conversation.

While the 704 fixed wing and Airport Capital Access Program eligible airports (airports with some scheduled passenger traffic but not too much) are the focus, it is hoped that 703 rotary and fixed wing operators, Helijet, the province’s flight schools, MROs, emergency air services, forest fire fighting efforts and non-ACAP airports – especially those with flight schools – are included in the review. Aviation is so much more than scheduled passenger service, especially in British Columbia. For example, our helicopter operations have four times more impact on the economy than Ontario’s.

One provincial program that can significantly assist our smaller airports is the BC Air Access Program (BCAAP). This program provides a portion of the funding for airport improvements. Problem is, this year nobody has the money for their portion of the project’s cost. BCAAP needs to be doubled in size (it has not kept up to airport inflation rates) and used for funding airport operations this year, returning to capital projects with a greater provincial contribution in 2021. This would be an important part of any COVID recovery plan.

Very pleased that the 42 flight training units in BC have been successfully working with officials and are now “fully” back in business. These post-secondary institutions are major exporters of advanced education for the province. What they require to support recovery is enhancement of the BC Student Aid program to reflect the $85,000 cost of obtaining your Commercial Pilot’s License, as Alberta does. Currently Students are only eligible for a few thousand dollars in Student Aid. Hopefully more FTUs become members in the BCAC so we can continue to pursue this initiative.

BC Aviation Council Newsletter

The BC Aviation Council Is Holding a COVID-19 Webinar June 9th, 2:00 pm Pacific, 5 pm EST

The BC Aviation Council is hosting a COVID-19 webinar on June 9th, 2:00 pm Pacific and 5 pm EST on “What Comes Next? BC Air Carriers and Airports Chart Recovery”. Free registration for members and non-members is through events here. Members get priority “seating”.

COVID-19 stopped air carriers and airports in their tracks, with aviation business down over 93% in the Province. Travel, tourism and economic development are some of the most virus impacted sectors. In response, air carriers and airports are developing and implementing action plans in real time.

This one-hour webinar allows industry professionals responding to the crisis to discuss their plans and views looking forward.

The webinar is co-hosted by the BC Aviation Council (BCAC), the Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC), and the BC Economic Development Association (BCEDA) in recognition of the impact that this crisis is having on aviation, aerospace, tourism, communities, and the economy. We will all need to, and are, working closely together for recovery to be successful. 

Speakers are:

Quentin Smith, President, Pacific Coastal, Airlines (third largest YVR air operator by movements)

Parm Sidhu, Airport General Manager, Abbotsford International Airport

Brant Arnold-Smith, Director, Security and Terminal Operations, Victoria International Airport

Moderator, Rob Beynon, Founder, Operations Economics Inc.

COVID-19: Aviation’s Recovery Flight Plan

COVID-19 has hit the aviation industry hard, and the entire ecosystem is feeling the pain. Airlines, airports, and other aviation organizations have responded quickly, reducing costs and introducing major operational changes as they weather the storm. In our latest report, we explore three key areas where aviation organizations will need to focus and invest as they recover from the repercussions of lockdowns and position themselves to thrive in future:

Customer expectations

How will companies in the aviation industry think strategically to meet changing customer needs and expectations in a way that encourages them to travel?

Operational realities

As the industry shifts toward near-term recovery and doing business in the long term, what significant operational changes will be required concerning network efficiencies, route development, and check-in processes?

Financial impacts

In what way will aviation companies need to reframe their financial assumptions to acknowledge that the certainties of the pre-COVID-19 era have likely evaporated?

In time, the pandemic will ease. And to recover and thrive in a post-COVID-19 world, aviation companies will need to build a new foundation for success.

Read Aviation’s recovery flight plan to find out more.

Air Cargo Capacity Crunch: Demand Plummets but Capacity Disappears Even Faster

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets for April 2020 showing that demand dropped 27.7% compared to the same period in 2019 – the sharpest fall ever recorded. Still, there was insufficient capacity to meet demand as a result of the loss of belly cargo operations on passenger aircraft.

Air Cargo Capacity Crunch: Demand Plummets but Capacity Disappears Even Faster, June 1, 2020,

Service Excellence and Collaboration Contribute to CP Breaking May Canadian Grain and Grain Products Shipping Record

Canadian Pacific (CP) set a new record for shipping Canadian grain and grain products in May 2020, moving 2.80 million metric tonnes (MMT). This new record beats the May 2014 record by more than 300,000 metric tonnes. As of May 31, 2020, CP’s movement of grain for the 2019-2020 crop year was 24.17 MMT. “The CP family has continued to deliver service excellence to our customers in this COVID-19 environment,” said Mark Redd, CP Executive Vice-President Operations.

Service excellence and collaboration contribute to CP breaking May Canadian grain and grain products shipping record, June 2, 2020,

Expect Dramatic Drop in Commodity Exports to China

Global exports of commodities to China could plunge by US$15.5 billion to $33.1 billion in 2020 – a drop of up to 46 percent compared with annual growth projections before the coronavirus pandemic hit, according to new UNCTAD research. The findings raise concerns for economies that rely on exports of primary goods, such as energy products, ores and grains. Some two-thirds of developing countries are commodity dependent according to UNCTAD data.

Expect dramatic drop in commodity exports to China, June 2, 2020,

PRESENTATION AVAILABLE- Miller Thomson LLP Transport & Logistics Webinar – Wed, May 27
The Effect of the COVID-19 Crisis on Cars and Trucks at Ontario’s Highway Border Crossings
Cross-Border Group Launches Recovery Campaign
Pandemic Highlighting Weaknesses in Canadian Trade and Supply Chain
Transport Canada Hiring Departmental Science Advisor
Canada, U.S. Extend Border Restrictions Until June 21
The Port of Montreal, Barometer of the Economy and Partner of the Recovery
Invitation: Miller Thomson Transport & Logistics Webinar – Wed, May 27
Canada Jobs Report Shows Staggering Losses for Trucking From COVID-19

It just keeps getting worse for Canada’s trucking industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as freight volumes recover, the job losses are staggering. Canada’s transportation and warehousing sector shed 102,800 jobs in April 2020, or about 10.4% of the workforce, federal jobs data released on May 8, 2020 shows. Canada shed about 2 million jobs, or 11% of its sector-wide workforce during the month, bringing the total to 3 million since February 2020. “The truth of it is we’re not immune from the impacts of COVID-19,” Jonathan Blackham, the Canadian Trucking Alliance’s director of public policy and public affairs, told FreightWaves.

Canada jobs report shows staggering losses for trucking from COVID-19, May 8, 2020,

Toronto Pearson COVID-19 Update - May 5th, 2020

Toronto Pearson is a vital piece of infrastructure, especially in these challenging times. Moving critical cargo is helping the country respond to COVID-19 and will be a key ingredient to restarting our economy and the country’s long-term recovery.

We thank the Government of Canada for its recent announcement to provide rent relief to Canada’s airports in 2020, and we likewise urge the federal government to support airports’ requests for additional short-term relief and a longer-term stimulus package as a component of Canada’s overall economic recovery.

Click to read the Toronto Pearson COVID-19 Update – May 5, 2020

CBC News : Greyhound Canada Suspends All Bus Routes in Canada Due to COVID-19

Demand has plunged by 95% during pandemic.

Greyhound Canada will halt all of its bus routes in Canada starting next Wednesday, May 13, because of the coronavirus.

The company controversially stopped its service in Western Canada in 2018, but the pandemic has caused ticket sales for its remaining routes in the eastern part of the country to plummet by 95 per cent.

The company has already scaled back its operations during the pandemic, including nine other routes between Canada on April 5th, and  three trans-border routes between Niagara Falls, Ont., and Buffalo, N.Y.; Windsor, Ont., and Detroit; and Montreal and Champlain, N.Y.

The company said that as of midnight next Tuesday, the following remaining routes will no longer be in service:

  • Windsor to London
  • London to Toronto and Toronto Airport
  • London to Kitchener
  • London to Toronto Local (Woodstock, Brantford, Hamilton, Mississauga)
  • Toronto to Ottawa
  • Ottawa to Montreal
  • Ottawa to Kingston
  • Kitchener/Guelph to Toronto

“As we continue to navigate this situation, we will keep our customers and employees who are affected by this temporary shutdown top of mind,” said Stuart Kendrick, the company’s vice-president, in a release.

“We regret the difficulty that this will cause them, but this decision came as a last resort option to address the uncontrollable consequences and devastating impacts of this pandemic,”

About 400 employees will be temporarily laid off as a result of the decision.

CBC News · Posted: May 07, 2020 8:19 AM ET,

CN Proud to be Supporting Agri-Food Supply Chain as Company Sets New Grain Records

CN announced that after having its second best Q1 western Canadian grain movement result with 6.59 million metric tonnes (MMT) moved, the Company moved 2.73 MMT in April 2020, exceeding its previous April record of 2.72 MMT. Movements also exceeded the three-year average of 2.55 MMT for April and March’s record result of 2.65 MMT. As the Canadian agricultural sector works to keep up with the increased demand for staple food, CN’s railroaders are determined to keep the goods North-Americans need moving. CN is proud that the cumulative total of all Canadian tonnage moved by CN for the 2019-2020 crop year has reached 21.55 MMT so far with 20.7 MMT coming from Western Canada.

CN Proud to be Supporting Agri-Food Supply Chain as Company Sets New Grain Records, May 5, 2020,

CTA Addresses Health Standing Committee on COVID-19 and Trucking

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) on May 5, 2020 appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health and provided on overview of the trucking industry’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak from the early days to possible next steps in working with the federal government on policy issues. “From day-one, the Government of Canada has worked collaboratively with CTA to navigate the ever changing policy landscape in response to COVIID-19 and its impact on the Canadian economy,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski, via video conference. “We look forward to continuing to work with all federal departments and the provinces to ensure the trucking industry can continue to be ready to support Canadians and businesses as we attempt to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.”

CTA Addresses Health Standing Committee on COVID-19 and Trucking, May 5, 2020,

Collaboration Between CP, Agricultural Supply Chain and Customers Delivers the Best Month for Canadian Grain Movements in Company’s 139-year History

Canadian Pacific is proud to report another record-setting month in the movement of Canadian grain and grain products. In April 2020, CP moved a best-ever monthly total of 2.8 million metric tonnes (MMT) to market, bettering the previous record set in November 2019 by more than 100,000 metric tonnes (MT). Joan Hardy, Vice-President Sales and Marketing Grain and Fertilizers said “CP’s family of professional railroaders continues to deliver for our customers and the economy during this extremely challenging COVID-19 period.”

Collaboration between CP, agricultural supply chain and customers delivers the best month for Canadian grain movements in company’s 139-year history, May 4, 2020,

CILT International Passenger Transport Submission

On April 21st, CILT International asked all country offices to submit a summary of their current experience and understanding on the topic of “Safe Practices in Passenger Transport Networks Flowing from COVID-19”. Please click here to read CILTNA’s submission of this summary.

Recovery in Aviation Could Take Up to 3 Years: Experts

“Talking to airline executives, 80 per cent is their new 100 per cent,” said the chief executive of the Airline Passenger Experience Association, Mr. Joe Leader, whose firm, together with satellite firm Inmarsat, played host to a panel discussion on April 29, 2020. The speakers, dialling in via video chat, included aviation analysts and chief executives of airlines. Ms. Victoria Moores, the European editor of publication Aviation Week, said the industry could emerge much leaner, possibly half the size it was prior to the crisis. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), releasing its latest estimates, described the plunge in global passenger traffic as the “largest decline in recent history”. It nosedived 52.9 per cent in March 2020, compared with the same period a year ago, said IATA. Asia-Pacific airlines led the fall, losing 65.5 per cent of passenger traffic.

Recovery in aviation could take up to 3 years: Experts, May 1, 2020,

Canada’s Airports Look for Government Relief to Ease Liquidity Crisis Caused by COVID-19 Travel Bans

Joyce Carter and RJ Steenstra, appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance on May 1, 2020. They were there to address the current state of Canada’s airports and urge further government action on relief measures that include permanent rent relief, loan or bond guarantees and funding for small airports. Ms. Carter clearly articulated the dramatic impact of the nation-wide travel restrictions, telling the committee “We expect to see just 200 travellers today, compared to a daily average of 11,000”. Since the onset of COVID-19, there has been precipitous decline in Canadian air traffic –and revenues. Overall passenger traffic declined by 90 percent in April, and it is expected to continue at this low level until travel restrictions are lifted, with revenue losses estimated at more than $2 billion. Ms. Carter thanked the government for their early assistance in the crisis by providing ground lease rent relief, which is helping preserve some cash flow in 2020, particularly for Canada’s eight busiest airports that pay 97 percent of the rent. She asked for additional support.

Canada’s airports look for government relief to ease liquidity crisis caused by COVID-19 travel bans, May 1, 2020,

Marine Industry Adopting Measures to Keep Workers Safe During the Pandemic

Newswatch, April 24, 2020 (also appeared at Business North).Marine transportation companies have banded together to establish measures to protect workers throughout the sector from the pandemic as ships dock to unload and load cargoes.  The Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC) worked with its ship operator members to develop the Marine Industry Trusted Partners for COVID-19 initiative “to help assure ship owners, governments and other stakeholders including the public that a mutually-agreed standard of protection, with supporting protocols, is being followed by each Partner during ship-shore interactions.”  Membership is “open to any company or organization to join that may be involved with ship-shore interactions in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence, East Coast and Arctic – and has already attracted the participation of ship inspectors, tug operators, and Canadian pilotage authorities and received a supportive message from the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation,” CMC said.  The measures “will help to facilitate essential ship-shore interactions, which are required for safe operations, by minimizing the need for additional screening between Trusted Partners.  However, it does not prevent any organization from taking further measures to protect their employees where the need arises.  CMC President and CEO Bruce Burrows is quoted. To read the full article:

Canadian Border Services Agency COVID-19 Commercial Update

The CBSA has sent out a COVID-19 commercial update with a comprehensive Q&A section that is useful to members. Please click here to read the update.

Marine shipping sector protects front-line workers with Trusted Partners Initiative

Chamber of marine Commerce (Ottawa, Ontario), April 23, 2020.  The marine industry is rising to meet the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic by banding together to create a mutually agreed standard of protocols to protect marine workers.  The Chamber of Marine Commerce has developed the Marine Industry Trusted Partners for COVID-19 initiative with its Canadian ship operator members to help assure ship owners, governments and other stakeholders (including the public) that a mutually-agreed standard of protection, with supporting protocols, is being followed by each Partner during ship-shore interactions.  The initiative is open to any company or organization to join that may be involved with ship-shore interactions in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence, East Coast and Arctic – and has already attracted the participation of ship inspectors, tug operators, and Canadian pilotage authorities and received a supportive message from The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.  Full List of Participants.  Bruce Burrows, President and CEO of the Chamber of Marine Commerce, Fulvio Fracassi, Chief Executive Officer of the Laurentian Pilotage Authority and Terence Bowles, President and CEO of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, are quoted.  Transport Canada posted supportive messages on social media this morning:

Globe and Mail Commentary on Growing Supply Chain Disruptiont

The Globe and Mail article from Sunday, April 19, comments on the impacts of the global economic shutdown on all freight transportation modes.  The Globe and Mail article can be found at the following link.

Air Canada First Commercial Flight with Converted 777 Aircraft

Air Cargo Week reports that the first flight of the converted Boeing 777 arrived in Montreal on Saturday with a shipment of PPE from Shanghai.  The Air Cargo Week article can be found at the following link.

GTAA OCC One Pager on Keeping Goods Moving in Ontario

In partnership with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released our one-pager this morning on Keeping Goods Moving in Ontario. Click here to see the one pager on the OCC website.

The document will be used in their ongoing advocacy with government as they continue to work together to protect Ontario’s supply chain during the COVID-19 response and path to recovery.

Click to Tweet! From the onset of the #COVID19 pandemic, partners in Ontario’s air cargo supply chain took decisive action to keep goods moving, ensuring the essential flow of supplies & goods in Canada. Learn more: #KeepONMoving @TorontoPearson

They encourage you to share this with your network on:Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

New Measures Introduced for Non-Medical Masks or Face Coverings in the Canadian Transportation System

On April 17, 2020, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced new measures requiring all air passengers to have a non-medical mask or face covering to cover their mouth and nose during travel. These measures come into effect at noon EDT on April 20, 2020. When travelling by air, travellers will be asked to cover their mouth and nose: 1) at Canadian airport screening checkpoints, where the screeners cannot always keep two metres of separation between themselves and the traveller; 2) when they cannot physically distance from others, or as directed by the airline employees; and 3) when directed to do so by a public health order or public health official. Aviation passengers on all flights departing or arriving at Canadian airports will also be required to demonstrate they have the necessary non-medical mask or face covering during the boarding process otherwise they will not be allowed to continue on their journey. Passengers should follow the current Public Health Agency of Canada’s guidance on face coverings.

New measures introduced for non-medical masks or face coverings in the Canadian transportation system, April 17, 2020,

The ‘Mad Rush’ for Medical Gear Triples Air Cargo Rates

For a sense of the squeeze in the world’s supply lines right now, consider the ongoing case of chartered air freight. Intense demand for medical equipment to fight the coronavirus is continuing to send the cost of chartered flights skyrocketing. Bloomberg News has been tracking developments and reported in March 2020 that a typically humdrum process of hiring a plane had turned into an “absolutely crazy,” ultra-competitive auction. Since then, conditions have become even more intense. “What was considered an unreasonably high price yesterday is now not only acceptable but even a missed bargain,” said Vivian Lau, vice chair and group chief executive officer of Pacific Air Holdings, a Hong Kong-based logistics company. “The mad rush is still on as the race continues to transport the much-needed medical supplies to the needed destinations around the world.”

The ‘mad rush’ for medical gear triples air cargo rates, April 17, 2020,

Heathrow Cargo Flights Rise 500% as Airport Restyles Itself as ‘Vital Airbridge’

The number of cargo-only flights at Heathrow has surged to five times normal levels, with the airport now saying it is prioritising medical supplies as passenger travel grinds to a halt. Britain’s biggest airport expects passenger traffic expected to plunge by 90% in April, with remaining flights mainly limited to repatriating citizens stranded abroad during the coronavirus outbreak. Instead, the hub airport is restyling itself as a “vital airbridge” for supplies and medical essentials during the coronavirus crisis.  (April 15, 2020,

Data Shows Facilities Struggling to Keep Up with Spike in Shipments Due to COVID-19

According to Vivek Vaid, CTO of FourKites, the supply chain has faced unprecedented pressure in recent weeks as retailers grapple with huge spikes in demand for food and packaged goods, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite spot shortages that continue to crop up due to panic buying, the U.S. supply chain, in particular, has proven itself capable of meeting surging demand for food and beverage and consumer packaged goods products. However, according to FourKites’ analysis, the data indicates that facilities are struggling to efficiently process the surge in shipment volumes, resulting in long delays for truckers and other front-line workers at facilities in the US and Europe.  (April 13, 2020,

ITF launches web overview of Covid-19-related measures for passenger and road transport in Europe

A new webpage presenting an overview of Covid-19-related measures for passenger and road transport in Europe has been launched by the International Transport Forum. The page can be found at: The webpage lists the restrictions imposed on road freight and passenger transport in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic as well as temporary exceptions and derogations to existing rules. The aim is to provide member country authorities and transport companies with up-to-date information to facilitate essential transport services during this period.   March 26, 2020   (

Air Canada Begins Operating Cargo-only Flights Carrying Vital Supplies, Necessary Goods

Air Canada said on March 25, 2020 that through its Air Canada Cargo division it has begun using its aircraft to operate cargo-only flights to Europe, with other flights planned for Latin America and South America. The aircraft on these flights carry no passengers but move time-sensitive shipments, including medical supplies to combat COVID-19, and goods to support the global economy. “Air Canada Cargo has long served as a vital link in global supply chains and with the disruption arising from the COVID-19 pandemic our capabilities are more important than ever. Although we have announced very significant temporary capacity reductions and our passenger flights are largely dedicated to bringing Canadians home, Air Canada’s aircraft and our expertise in handling cargo are valuable assets that we can use to move medical supplies and other essential goods to keep the world economy going. We have already begun flights to Europe, and we are planning to expand this program to Latin America and South America, as well as within Canada, including remote communities using Air Canada Express aircraft. In addition to providing a much-needed service, these cargo-only flights are also supporting jobs at Air Canada,” said Tim Strauss, Vice President of Cargo, at Air Canada.

Air Canada Begins Operating Cargo-only Flights Carrying Vital Supplies, Necessary Goods, March 25, 2020,

Important Notice from Canadian Trucking Alliance on Essential Travel as Defined by the US Homeland Security

Effective midnight March 20, 2020 only essential traffic will be allowed to cross the Canada-US border. The US has defined essential travel as “For the purposes of temporary alternation in certain designated ports of entry operations authorized under 19 U.S.C 13 18 (b) (1) (c) and (b)(2) travel through the land ports of entry and ferry terminals along with the United States-Canada border shall be limited to “essential travel,” which includes, but is not limited to:

Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade (e.g. truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United States and Canada)

Essential services includes truck drivers involved in cross border lawful cargo movement. Further, there are no commodity restrictions — all commodities on north-south bound trucks are deemed essential (it excludes anything that is normally considered unlawful cargo).

Important Notice from Canadian Trucking Alliance on Essential Travel as Defined by the US Homeland Security, March 20, 2020,

Keep on trucking: Trucks must keep moving across Canada-U.S. border amid coronavirus

Canada and the United States have agreed to restrict non-essential trips across their common border, while leaving it open for the movement to freight in trucks. While the justification of banning crossings by “non-essential” people is open to question, the economic arguments for preserving the movement of trucks are clear.

On an average day, about 30,000 trucks roll across the Canada-U.S. border, carrying more than $1 billion in trade. If truck movements were banned, critical supplies of food and medicine would be interrupted and production at some of the largest manufacturing plants in both countries would cease, idling thousands of workers.

The economic damage from interrupting the flow of trucks would be both direct and indirect.

The direct damage would come when needed goods are cut off. For example, pharmaceuticals are a major export from Ontario to the U.S. and thousands of truckloads of agri-food products, from live animals to processed food, are shipped in both directions. The indirect damage would come when supply chains that straddle the border break down, making it impossible for factories and other economic activities to keep operating.

The automotive sector is a good example. Tariff-free trade in cars and parts dates to a Canada-U.S. agreement in the 1960s, long before NAFTA. This industry has more than 50 years of evolution based on cross-border supply chains.

A complicated supply chain

Production of cars and SUVs depends on parts from hundreds of different factories being passed up through several “tiers” of suppliers and gradually combined into larger components before they ultimately arrive at the final assembly plant. Nearly all these factory-to-factory movements are made in trucks, many of which cross the Canada-U.S. border.

As the border constrictions in the wake of the 9/11 attacks demonstrated, when the trucks stop crossing the border, the automotive production system shuts down. A border shutdown during the COVID-19 crisis would be more complete and much longer than the slowdown that followed 9/11.

The movement of trucks and the movement of people are not independent issues. Beyond just the truck drivers, there are many people involved in maintenance, repair, training, marketing and other occupations who regularly move across the border in support of binational production systems. The inclusion of these people in the “essential” category will help ensure the smooth functioning of cross-border supply chains.

Since cars and SUVs are not staple commodities, why should we worry if their production pauses during the crisis? For one thing, a similar story of dependence on cross-border supply chains could be told for food processing, medical devices and other things we cannot do without. Plans for the automotive and other industries to re-purpose parts of their production assets to make desperately needed medical devices will also depend on cross-border supply chains.

Deeper crisis than 2008

More generally, it is important that economic activities which can be done safely carry on during the crisis. We are about to experience the deepest global economic contraction of our times — potentially much deeper than the crisis of 2008. How long it will last is still unclear, but it will be months or perhaps years rather than weeks.

At this early stage, public attention is rightly focused on protecting people from infection. This means all work environments and processes must be assessed to ensure that employees are not at risk. For example, the major automotive companies are currently shutting down plants for sanitation and to institute new safety measures.

As the regional effects of the pandemic subside, more attention will be given to speeding up the economic recovery. If the economic contraction during the crisis is any greater than what is required to protect the public, there will be more missed paycheques, more debt and more companies lost to bankruptcy. Keeping the trucks moving across the border now could pay off in a faster return to economic vitality in the aftermath of the crisis.

The COVID-19 crisis is a critical test of the resilience of cross-border supply chains. The outcome of this test will have big implications for the future of the Canadian economy, especially the manufacturing sector.

From our consultation at the Cross Border Institute with private-sector players who use the border intensively, we know that the threat of major delays and interruptions is one of the downsides of linking production facilities on opposite sides of the border. If the risk of interruptions becomes too great, a reasonable strategy is to consolidate the supply chain in one country.

The future of cross-border supply chains?

For some industries, such as food production, there is an argument  for a shift to separate domestic supply chains.

But for industries where scale is important — automotive, aerospace, defence and industrial machinery — such consolidation systematically works against Canada. In those industries, supply chains will not be duplicated in each country, but rather concentrated in the country with the largest market — which is generally the United States. Demonstrating that cross-border logistics can function in a crisis would be beneficial for business investment in Canada.

The COVID-19 crisis is a time for bold action. But it’s also a time to resist taking actions that cause economic harm without protecting public health. The co-ordinated decision by the governments of Canada and the United States to keep the border open to trucking makes sense.

March 22, 2020 – Dr. Bill Anderson and Marta Leardi- Anderson, University of Windsor, Cross Border Institute,

How Coronavirus Could Affect Supply Chain and Freight Shipping

Here are five likely possibilities: 1. It could hinder global movement; 2. It may hurt employment; 3. It could impact future production; 4. It may curb spending; and 5. It exposes supply chain vulnerabilities.

How coronavirus could affect supply chain and freight shipping, March 16, 2020,

Barry Prentice: The High Costs of Railroad Blockades to Canada’s Economy and Reputation

Railways move about half the freight in this country and the blockades couldn’t come at a worse time. So far CN Rail has cancelled 400 to 500 trains but operations were already slowing. There is also a temporary speed limit on all trains carrying dangerous goods, cutting normal speeds in half. Transportation is a service. It cannot be stockpiled. A return to full operating capacity will take longer than most people realize — months probably rather than weeks. Lost opportunities have real costs both to railways and to the Canadian economy. The economic pain is magnified by the intangible costs to Canada’s reputation as a reliable supplier to world markets. If the flow of products can be interrupted, especially without a healthy lead time, then foreign buyers will protect their interests by buying elsewhere. These are the harsh realities. Let’s wish the government well in pursuing a speedy, peaceful and lasting end to the rail blockades.

Barry Prentice: The high costs of railroad blockades to Canada’s economy and reputation, February 21, 2020,

2019 Worst Year for Air Freight Demand Since 2009

The international Air Transport Association (IATA) released full-year 2019 data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), fell by 3.3% compared to 2018 while capacity (AFTK) rose by 2.1%. This was the first year of declining freight volumes since 2012, and the weakest performance since the global financial crisis in 2009 (when air freight markets contracted by 9.7%). In the month of December 2019, cargo volumes contracted 2.7% year-on-year while capacity rose 2.8%. Air cargo’s performance in 2019 was dampened by weak growth in global trade of just 0.9%. The sector’s underperformance was also due in particular to slowing GDP growth in manufacturing-intensive economies. Softer business and consumer confidence, along with falling export orders, also contributed to air freight struggles. 

(February 5, 2020,

Port of Montreal Continues Record Cargo Pace and Expansion Projects

As 2020 begins, there are no signs that Montreal, Canada’s second biggest port after Vancouver, strategically located deep inland in relation to the industrial heartland of North America, is slowing down in terms of both capacity and cargo expansion. Last year marked the first time the Port of Montreal surpassed 40 million metric tons in total cargo handled – with the tally attaining 40.5 million tons versus 39 million tons in 2018. And another record was set in container volume, which rose by 4.4% to 1.75 million TEUs. “In 2020, we are projecting that container traffic could increase another 3%,” said Tony Boemi, VP growth and development at the Montreal Port Authority (MPA). In an interview, he attributed the overall cargo growth in 2019 in part to the resumption of activity at the Viterra grain terminal hit by a nine-month lockout in 2018. Highlights on the cargo front in 2019, noted Boemi, included a resurgence of U.S. Midwest cargo which had been on a steady decline. “The increase in Midwest business is spread amongst most of the major carriers calling Montreal.” “Emerging markets continue to have a positive impact on the Port of Montreal,” he continued. “This is the result of transshipment ports being used as hubs to trans-load cargo from the mega containerships to the right size vessels needed for market access.”

Port of Montreal continues record cargo pace and expansion projects, January 22, 2020,

Ontario Releases First Regional Transportation Plan – Province Connecting People and Places in Southwestern Ontario

Ontario’s government is delivering on its commitment to develop regional transportation plans that will connect people and places across the province. On January 17, 2020, Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, announced that the government is releasing its first draft plan to build a better transportation system that will connect individuals, families and businesses in southwestern Ontario.

Ontario Releases First Regional Transportation Plan – Province Connecting People and Places in Southwestern Ontario, January 17, 2020,

CILTNA Treasurer, John Corey, joins FMA as Vice-President

Effective January 9, 2020, John Corey is appointed as Vice-President at the Freight Management Association of Canada (FMA).

John has been working at the Canadian Transportation Agency since 1991 and has experience in both the Air and Rail branches of the Agency.  He was appointed as Manager Rail Investigations in 2004 and then Team Leader – Mediation Services in 2013.  Both services are part of the Dispute Resolution Branch.

In these last two appointments, John played a major role in settling disputes between the federally regulated freight railways and their customers.

“John brings his extensive experience and background with the regulatory agency to FMA and this will strengthen our government relations activities on behalf of the broader Canadian shipper community” said Gary Fast, Chairman of FMA and Vice-President, Transportation at Canadian Tire.

John will join the FMA management team and will have an initial focus on the railway service issues confronting the shipper community.

“I have had contact with John on many issues over the past two decades and have always been impressed with his knowledge and his judgement in addressing disputes. I am looking forward to working with John as he brings that skill and experience to FMA”, said Bob Ballantyne, FMA President.

John has a Bachelor of Science degree from Concordia University and a Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Ottawa. He has been a member in good standing of the Chartered Public Accountants of Ontario since 1990.

The FMA has been representing the freight transportation interests of Canadian industry since 1916. Our 70+ members include companies, both large and small, from most industrial sectors and from all across the country. The FMA member companies contribute approximately $90 billion annually to the Canadian economy and purchase approximately $3 billion in freight services by truck, rail, marine, courier and airfreight.

Bob Ballantyne P. Eng., President
Freight Management Association of Canada
Ottawa, ON

We at CILTNA would like to congratulate John in his new role at FMA.

USMCA: The 3 Most Important Changes in the New NAFTA and Why They Matter

President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders agreed on a deal to pass a new trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada that will update NAFTA. So how is the USMCA different from the North American Free Trade Agreement, and why should you care? The deal as detailed in May 2019 contains numerous tweaks from its predecessor, both big and small. Three changes are especially noteworthy. 1) Curbing protectionist policies, such as subsidizing dairy farmers and setting import quotas on milk. Canadian tariffs on some products can be as high as 300%. Under the new accord, Canada will curb some of the ways it protects its dairy industry, such as allowing more American milk, butter, cheese and other dairy products to enter Canada duty-free, with reciprocal treatment for Canadian dairy exports to the U.S. 2) Starting as early as 2020, to qualify for zero tariffs when crossing borders, a car or truck must have 75% of its components manufactured in Canada, the U.S. or Mexico, up from 62.5% currently. Further, 40% to 45% of a vehicle’s components must be made by workers earning at least US$16 per hour. 3) Including stronger protections for patents and trademarks in areas such as biotech, financial services and domain names – all of which have advanced considerably over the past quarter-century. It also contains new provisions governing the expansion of digital trade and investment in innovative products and services.

USMCA: The 3 most important changes in the new NAFTA and why they matter, January 3, 2020,

Air Canada's Calin Rovinescu to be Inducted Into 2020 Canadian Business Hall of Fame

Canada and the Canadian Business Hall of Fame announced on Dec. 17, 2019 that Air Canada President and Chief Executive Officer Calin Rovinescu will be inducted as a Companion into the 2020 Canadian Business Hall of Fame. “Calin’s exceptional business and leadership achievements have been widely recognized by several influential organizations both in Canada and globally.”

Air Canada’s Calin Rovinescu to be Inducted Into 2020 Canadian Business Hall of Fame, December 18, 2019,

Toronto Pearson Welcomes Deborah Flint as New President and CEO

Los Angeles World Airports CEO will take on role with Greater Toronto Airports Authority in April 2020

November 27, 2019

TORONTO, ONTARIO – The Board of Directors of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) today announced the appointment of Deborah Flint as President and Chief Executive Officer of the GTAA. Ms. Flint will commence her new role in April 2020 following more than 4 years as CEO of Los Angeles World Airports and 24 years serving in executive roles in the aviation industry.

“Deborah is a proven aviation executive who has been leading Los Angeles World Airports, one of the world’s largest passenger and cargo airports, through a period of significant transformation, including the development of an intermodal transit centre,” said Doug Allingham, Chair of the GTAA Board of Directors. “The GTAA Board undertook a global search for a new leader to help guide Toronto Pearson through its next phase of growth, and we are pleased to have found a Canadian-born airport executive with the energy, passion and experience to continue on with our vision to make Toronto Pearson the best airport in the world.”

In her role at Los Angeles World Airports, which operates both Los Angeles International and Van Nuys (general aviation) airports, Ms. Flint has focused the organization on the $14-billion modernization of its terminals, runway improvements, and a comprehensive transit program that includes roadway improvements and an intermodal transportation facility. Ms. Flint’s deep experience in connecting airports to regional transit networks dates back to her tenure as Aviation Director of Oakland International Airport where she delivered the BART, a $480 million Airport Rail Project.

“In the world of international airports, Toronto Pearson is a rising and notable star, known for its significant accomplishments on passenger service, growth in passenger traffic, and its leadership in working with both industry and community partners to take a regional perspective on the role a mega-hub airport plays in lifting those around it,” said Ms. Flint. “As a Canadian-born airport executive, I consider it a privilege to be able to return home to lead this organization and ensure it continues to deliver benefits to all of our stakeholders.”

Los Angeles World Airports has an impressive story, serving more than 87.5 million passengers and 2 million tonnes of cargo in 2018. In addition to being the 4th busiest passenger airport in the world, it is the only U.S. airport to serve as a hub for four U.S. legacy carriers (Alaska Airlines, American, Delta and United). It is considered to be one of two North American mega-hub airports, with Toronto Pearson focused on joining the ranks by the end of 2019. Mega-hub international hub airports serve more than 50 million passengers, with a high percentage of connecting and international passengers.

As a recognized leader within the international and U.S. aviation community, Ms. Flint serves as a member of the Airports Council International board, appointee to the U.S. DOT Drone Advisory Committee, and Chair of the Oversight Committee of the Transportation Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program. Beyond the airport industry, she has served on the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank and is a Director of the Honeywell Corporation.

Ms. Flint will take over the position as President and CEO following the planned retirement of current President and CEO Howard Eng in March 2020. Mr. Eng led Toronto Pearson from 2012 and oversaw a period of record passenger growth, a dedicated focus on customer service and a dramatic expansion of the airport’s retail and service offerings. Mr. Allingham thanked Mr. Eng for his years of service and wished him a happy and productive retirement.

“After nearly 40 years running airports around the world, Howard’s retirement is a bittersweet moment in the history of Toronto Pearson,” stated Allingham. “We will continue to benefit from his dedication for years to come, as we reap the benefits of the decisions that he made over his eight-year term at Canada’s busiest airport.”

About the Greater Toronto Airports Authority

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) is the operator of Toronto Pearson International Airport. The GTAA’s vision is to make Toronto Pearson the best airport in the world. Towards this objective, the GTAA focuses on ensuring the safety and security of passengers and airport employees, enhancing the passenger experience and supporting the success of its airline partners. Toronto Pearson served more than 49.5 million passengers in 2018, making it Canada’s busiest airport. With 163 international routes, Toronto Pearson is also North America’s most internationally connected airport.


The BC Marine Terminal Operators Association are hiring for their new Executive Director

The BC Marine Terminal Operators Association are hiring for their new Executive Director. Please click here if you are interested in applying or know someone who might be. 

Air Canada's Calin Rovinescu Named CEO of the Year for second time by Globe and Mail's Report on Business

 Air Canada President and Chief Executive Officer Calin Rovinescu was named CEO of the Year and Strategist of the Year on November 25, 2019 by The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Magazine. This is the second time Mr. Rovinescu has been selected as Canada’s top CEO by the magazine.

Air Canada’s Calin Rovinescu Named CEO of the Year for second time by Globe and Mail’s Report on Business, November 26, 2019,

Ontario Releases Visionary Consultation Blueprint for Improving Safety & Operational Performance of Trucking Sector

 The Province of Ontario on November 8, 2019 announced a visionary, two-year comprehensive blueprint which will lead the trucking industry through a series of consultations that will make highways safer by introducing modern techniques and approaches that expand the perspective and reach of enforcement to deal with non-compliant carriers, including Driver Inc. operators. The Action Plan, which outlined the process for this consultation, also included additional significant measures previously introduced in a Red Tape Bill by Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, such as the introduction of an integrated vehicle safety and emissions inspection program and long combination vehicle enhancements.

Ontario Releases Visionary Consultation Blueprint for Improving Safety & Operational Performance of Trucking Sector, November 8, 2019,

CP, Short Line Railroads and Transload Operators Meet to Create Innovative Joint Opportunities and Drive Growth

Over the past two days, Canadian Pacific brought together short line railroads and transload operators to nurture collaboration and develop efficient service offerings to customers, with the goal of fostering sustainable, profitable growth. Building on the success of the 2018 Reconnect Conference, representatives of more than 50 companies were at CP’s Calgary headquarters for Connect 2019. John Brooks, Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, CP said “Our short line and regional connections, and transload operators are key extensions of the CP business that allow us the scalable reach to new markets and optionality for our customers. Our terminal capacity and strategic land holdings are unique to CP, providing increased optionality for this segment of the transportation supply chain. Our goal in bringing together these companies annually is to find efficiencies and opportunities, something of critical importance in today’s economic climate.”

CP, short line railroads and transload operators meet to create innovative joint opportunities and drive growth, October 29, 2019,

Drone Delivery Canada to Establish Delivery Hub at EIA

Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) is pleased to announce that with the assistance of its sales agent Air Canada, it has entered into a commercial agreement with the Edmonton Regional Airports Authority (ERAA), operating Edmonton International Airport (EIA) and Villeneuve Airport, for the purpose of establishing the world’s first airport drone delivery hub, at Edmonton International Airport using DDC’s proprietary drone delivery platform.

Drone Delivery Canada to establish delivery hub at EIA, October 29, 2019,

Air Canada President and Chief Executive Calin Rovinescu Named Strategist of the Year and One of Canada's Top CEOs of the Year by Globe and Mail's Report on Business

Air Canada President and Chief Executive Officer Calin Rovinescu has been recognized as Strategist of the Year, as well as being named one of Canada’s top leaders of 2019 representing the best of corporate leadership, innovation, vision and responsibility by the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business. The Strategist of the Year is awarded by the Globe and Mail’s Report of Business team to a CEO whose bold decisions have materially changed and improved the strategic position of his or her business.

Air Canada President and Chief Executive Calin Rovinescu Named Strategist of the Year and One of Canada’s Top CEOs of the Year by Globe and Mail’s Report on Business, October 16, 2019,

Gordie Howe International Bridge and WDBA Winners at P3 Awards 2019

Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) on October 4, 2019 announced that they have been recognized as Government Agency of the Year at the 2019 P3 Awards hosted by P3 Bulletin while the Gordie Howe International Bridge project also won in the category of Best Road/Bridge/Tunnel Project. The respective honours came amid strong competition from other industry leaders and renowned projects. The P3 Awards, held in New York, is one of the largest events recognizing and rewarding the best in public-private partnerships (P3s). The Gordie Howe International Bridge is expected to be in service by the end of 2024 and will be an impressive and inspiring new gateway symbol for Canada and United States. The project involves not only construction of what will be the longest cabled-stayed bridge in North America but two of the largest Ports of Entry for a land border crossing and a connection to I-75 in Michigan.

Gordie Howe international bridge and WDBA winners at P3 awards 2019, October 4, 2019,

Blue Ribbon Task Force Releases Report on UAS Mitigation at Airports

On October 2, 2019, the Blue Ribbon Task Force on UAS Mitigation at Airports released its report on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) integration, detection, identification, and mitigation in and around airports. The Task Force, jointly commissioned in April 2019 by Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), recommends the U.S. Congress appropriate more funds to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Canadian government appropriate more funds to Transport Canada, and both legislative bodies extend UAS interdiction authority to trained state and local law enforcement agencies. “Whether the origin of drone activity near airports is careless, clueless or criminal, the escalating frequency of drone-related incidents present a security, operational and economic challenge to North American airports and their surrounding communities,” said Deborah Flint, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).

Blue Ribbon Task Force Releases Report on UAS Mitigation at Airports, October 2, 2019,

Hamilton-Oshawa Port Rebrands with New Logo

Following its amalgamation in June 2019, the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (or HOPA) has launched a rebrand with a new logo. “The Port Authority sought a modern brand and visual identity that would resonate in Hamilton and Oshawa, and convey its evolution into a progressive maritime industry leader,” the port stated in a press release.

Hamilton-Oshawa port rebrands with new logo, September 27, 2019, <

PORT REPORT: Mega-study reveals Asia and China dominate the commercial maritime world

Ocean shippers, carriers and forwarders have long known it and now the United Nations has proved it with numbers – China and Asia utterly dominate the commercial maritime world. In a massive 14-year study going back to 2006, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has ranked 1,249 ports by how well connected they are to other ports around the world. Of the top 20 ports, 15 are in Asia and 11 are in China. Of the non-Asian ports in the top 20, two are in Europe, one is in the Middle East (Jebel Ali) and the other is in Sri Lanka (Colombo). The top connected ports are: Shanghai, Singapore, Busan, Ningbo-Zhoushan and Hong Kong.  August 9, 2019. (

FedEx Still World's Top Cargo Carrier, Emirates is in 2nd place, says IATA

FedEx has continued to hold on to the top spot as the world’s busiest cargo airline with volumes up 3.8 per cent year on year to 17.5 billion freight tonne kilometres (FTK) in 2018, according to the latest IATA World Air Transport Statistics report. The express operator is in the process of upgrading its fleet, having ordered an extra 12 Boeing 777 freighters and 12 B767Fs last year. As of May 31, 2019 its fleet comprised 681 aircraft compared with 670 aircraft in 2018 and 657 in 2017. As far as pure cargo airlines are concerned, Emirates topped the rankings in spite of demand remaining flat at 12.7 billion FTK, reported London’s Air Cargo News.   July 18, 2019,

Senate Committee Calls for Improvements to Trucking Routes and Border Infrastructure

The Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry released its new report in the third week of July 2019 titled Made in Canada: Growing Canada’s value-added food sector, which highlighted the central role trucking plays in the agriculture and food sector. CTA appeared before the committee in the fall to raise awareness on these issues and the committee subsequently made several trucking-related recommendations to the Government of Canada, for example: 1) governments maintain and expand an efficient road network throughout the country; governments harmonize regulations for the trucking industry in order to minimize delays; and 3) government of Canada modernize the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Canada Border Services Agency inspection and registration systems in order to reduce processing times.  July 17, 2019,

B.C. Government Highlights Initiatives Aimed at Improving Conditions for Trucking Industry

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure provided an update on a slew of initiatives across the province recently, including the Weight2GoBC bypass program. Weigh2GoBC has provided enforcement officers with a tool to better focus on vehicles in need of assistance and not waste time on those operating under full compliance. The program could be linked to other similar efforts across the country in the future, such as Alberta’s Drivewyze program. Several other initiatives the province has taken to make life better for the trucking industry were highlighted.  June 2, 2019  (

Governing Transport in the Algorithmic Age

On May 23, 2019, the International Transport Forum released a study entitled Governing Transport in the Algorithmic Age. This study explores where automated decision-making systems impact transport activity, and how. More and more transport activity is influenced by algorithms. Automated decision-making is taking a hold in areas from health care and housing to media and mobility. In transport, algorithms are a core feature for services from public transport scheduling to routing apps, bicycle sharing to self-driving technology, parcel delivery to the dispatching of ride services. How can policy makers ensure mobility driven by algorithmic code supports societal objectives? The report discusses what the authors did, what they found together with their recommendations.  May 23, 2019.   (

CILT International 2019 AGM Notice

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport will be held at The Midland, 16 Peter Street, Manchester, M60 2DS, UK on Monday 17th  June 2019 commencing at 11:30 local time to conduct the following items of ordinary business:

  • To consider and if thought fit adopt the accounts for the year ended 30th September 2018 and the reports of the trustees and auditors.
  • To re-appoint Mazars LLP as auditors and to authorise the trustees to agree their remuneration.

17 May 2019
By order of the Trustees
Andrew Weatherill, Director of Finance

The following grades are entitled to attend and vote:
Member, Chartered Member, Fellow, Emeritus Fellow, Honorary Fellow

The Annual Report and Accounts and the Proxy Voting Forms for the AGM on Monday 17th June 2019 will shortly be available on the International Website. Details in respect of appointing a proxy are available at

Click here to print and view the Proxy Voting Form.

Alternatively contact us as follows for details:
Write: 2019 INT AGM, CILT UK, Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road, Corby NN17 4AX
Fax: +44 (0) 1536 740101
Phone: +44 (0) 1536 740100
Please ensure all correspondence is headed up 2019 INT AGM.

Senators to Consider Sweeping Package of Amendments to Controversial Bill C-69

Bill C-69, an act to enact the impact assessment act and the Canadian energy regulator act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts. Bill C-69, which seeks to overhaul the environmental review process for large-scale projects like pipelines and nuclear plants, has become a point of vexation in the oil-rich provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Frustrations in those provinces has been mounting over the failure to increase Canada’s oil pipeline capacity over the past 15 years, kneecapping producers and pummeling prices for Canadian crude oil. Among the amendments obtained by the Post, one aims to reduce the timelines for projects reviewed by an independent panel from 600 days down to 510, satisfying industry demands for shorter review processes. Oil and gas lobby groups have warned that the new process could slow timelines to get major projects built, despite claims by Ottawa that the bill actually shortens the process with its “one project, one review” approach. Many of the proposed amendments aim to limit ministerial powers — a key concern among oil and gas representatives, who argue that higher discretion afforded to the federal environment minister will make the process more uncertain. One amendment would force the environment minister to get written approval from both the federal finance minister and minister of natural resources before a project could be rejected on environmental grounds. That would mark a substantial change from the current legislation, which leaves the decision solely to the environment minister, and would put more power in the hands of the typically more industry-friendly energy ministry.

Senators to consider sweeping package of amendments to controversial Bill C-69, May 7, 2019,

Capacity Challenges Facing Supply Chains are Disruptive

Becoming a shipper of choice is no longer a choice, particularly during what the executive of one of Canada’s largest shippers calls “some of the most disruptive times I’ve ever seen.” Delivering the keynote address at The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transportation of North America (CILTNA) annual spring outlook conference, Gary Fast, vice president transportation at Canadian Tire, told those gathered that he couldn’t remember experiencing the capacity challenges his company faces today in his 24 years in the industry.

Capacity challenges facing supply chains are disruptive, May , 2019,

Leading U.S. and Canadian Supply Chain Associations Enter Partnership

This collaboration may enable distribution of each other’s product offerings, development of joint training programs for Global 2000 and Fortune 1000 companies

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor · April 24, 2019

While trade and diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Canada remain somewhat contentious, one particularly encouraging development unfolded this week. 

The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) and the Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA) have jointly announced a collaborative partnership designed to bring expanded resources for shippers looking to optimize their supply chains. 

ASCM, one of the largest nonprofit association for supply chains, has long been regarded as a forum for thought leadership. 

Meanwhile, SCMA is said to be “the voice” of Canada’s end-to-end supply chain profession, representing and serving more than 7,000 professionals across the nation.

According to spokesmen, this collaboration may enable distribution of each other’s product offerings, development of joint training programs for Global 2000 and Fortune 1000 companies, participation and establishment of joint events, and combined media collateral. 

Once the trade and political leaders of these North American powers finally get on the same page regarding regulatory matters,  we look forward to tracking how this partnership evolves.

Halifax Port Authority Launches Public Consultation on Infrastructure Plans

The Halifax Port Authority (HPA) is undertaking an important online consultation to determine the future of the Port of Halifax as Canada’s Ultra Atlantic Gateway. The HPA undertook a comprehensive infrastructure planning process starting in 2016 to determine the best way for the Port of Halifax to capitalize on the significant transformation underway in the containerized cargo business. Every level of government, members of the public, customers, stakeholders, and port planning experts have all been involved in assessing the available options to take the Port of Halifax to the next level. Through this interactive online engagement tool, everyone will have the opportunity to learn about the ongoing infrastructure planning process and share views on the Port’s future, expansion options, decision-making priorities, and initiatives that contribute to a more vibrant, livable city.   April 21, 2019.  (

Leading Maritime Capitals of the World Report 2019: Singapore Still on Top

The Leading Maritime Capitals report for 2019 is out, with fresh insight on which maritime metropolises provide the best support for companies in shipping and related services. Singapore maintained its top position at the head of the 15 leading maritime capitals. Despite a somewhat weak trade cycle in traditional shipping and offshore oil and gas markets yet to recover, Singapore was able to retain its lead in three of the five pillars of the ranking: Shipping; Ports and Logistics; as well as Attractiveness and Competitiveness. In the two remaining pillars, London is number one in Maritime Finance & Law, while Oslo is number one in Maritime Technology. On the overall ranking, Hamburg remains in the number two spot, while Oslo drops from third to seventh. Rotterdam and Hong Kong show the biggest improvement, climbing to third and fourth respectively, with London rounding out the top five, and Shanghai at number six.  April 15, 2019,  (

New Process for Review and Authorization of Air Carrier Joint Ventures Now in Place

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced that effective April 4, 2019, the Minister of Transport has the authority to review and authorize joint ventures between airlines. Previously, only the Competition Bureau reviewed air carrier joint ventures to determine whether a joint venture would substantially lessen or prevent competition. It did not consider factors beyond those related to competition, such as impact on employment. This new process allows the Minister of Transport to authorize a proposed joint venture that would be in the public interest by balancing those interests with impacts on competition. This process was a key priority from the Minister’s Transportation 2030 strategy to promote greater choice and connectivity in the air sector, which may lead to lower ticket prices.   April 4, 2019, (

Air Cargo Priorities: Trade, Global Standards and Modernization

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on governments and the air cargo industry to focus on three priorities to accommodate the expanding demand for air cargo and ensure the economic and social benefits of aviation can be maximized. The three priorities are: 1)Accelerating the speed of process modernization; 2) Implementing and enforcing global standards, and 3) Keeping borders open to trade. The call came during the opening address by Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, at the 13th World Cargo Symposium.  (March 12, 2019,

China halts canola shipments from major Canadian supplier

A major Canadian canola exporter has had its registration to ship canola seeds to China revoked, the latest flare-up in a diplomatic and trade dispute between the two countries.

A Chinese customs document dated March 1 says the country has cancelled Winnipeg-based agricultural handler Richardson International’s registration. That means the company is forbidden to export canola seeds to the country.

“Richardson has been directly targeted,” vice-president Jean-Marc Ruest told CBC News. “We think this is part of a larger Canada-China issue, and we hope it gets resolved expeditiously.”

In the past, China has sought to limit the amount of “dockage” it allows in Canadian canola — referring to material such as weeds, stems and other seeds — to help fight the spread of a fungal crop disease known as blackleg.

But Ruest said the company believes this new flare-up isn’t related to those claims, but instead is tied to a roiling diplomatic dispute between the two countries.

“In regards to any issue of quality, we disagree with the Chinese allegations. The Canadian government respects and supports our position, and the quality of our product, at the same time.”

Canada exported more than $5 billion worth of canola last year, and almost half of it was destined for the Chinese market — almost five million metric tonnes worth, according to the Canadian Canola Growers Association.

Richardson is among the largest individual shippers of the product in the world, and this move “would basically curb or shut down their exports of canola,” growers association chief executive Rick White said in an interview.

“If Richardson can’t buy and move it and send it to China, farmers are to be left with it here in Canada.”

The news comes against the backdrop of rising tensions between Canada and China ignited last year, when Canadian officials detained Meng Wanzhou, vice-president of Chinese technology firm Huawei, at the request of U.S. tax authorities as she was boarding a flight in Vancouver.

Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei’s founder, was arrested on Dec. 1, 2018, while in transit through Vancouver to Mexico and South America. She is now involved in an extradition case and personal litigation against Canadian border officials, the RCMP and the attorney general of Canada.

Two Canadians — Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor — have since been detained in China, and on Monday the two men were accused of stealing state secrets from China.

White said that while there’s “no evidence or any information that ties that issue one to the other,” others are drawing a direct line between the revocation of Richardson’s permit with ongoing Chinese-Canadian trade and diplomatic issues.

One industry expert who has been granted anonymity for fear of becoming the target retaliatory measures from China said the move is “direct retaliation” for Canada’s recent actions — including the unfolding scandal involving SNC-Lavalin.

The Chinese see that “Trudeau was willing to intervene in legal matters to help … SNC, while at the same time refused to intervene to have Meng released to avoid extradition,” the source said.

“Richardson is the largest canola exporter and is Canadian … so [it’s] the best target to send a message.”

For its part, the government of Canada says it “will work with China to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.”

“We are closely monitoring the situation and any potential impact on Canada’s agricultural trading relationship with China,” newly minted Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a statement to CBC News.

“We are in regular contact with industry stakeholders regarding this matter, and we will keep them informed as additional information becomes available.”

Charles Burton, senior fellow at the McDonald Laurier Institute and a former Canadian diplomat who served two postings in China, predicted last week that a crackdown on Canadian canola would be one possible tactic it would employ.

“Richardson seems to be a completely innocent victim of a larger geopolitical game,” he added on Tuesday.

He added that he hopes Beijing will reverse the decision, so both countries will “see what we can do to try and recover from the very damaged trust between our two nations because of the Chinese government’s horrendous response,” he said.

Sui Sui, a professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto, said she suspects the move against Richardson is likely more tied to a specific rule violation than some larger diplomatic game.

“I’m sure there’s something special about this company,” she said in an interview. “If [a] Canadian company has a good relationship and [they] comply with regulations, I don’t think they have to worry too much about it.”

While the canola industry has been thrown for an unexpected loop, on the whole agricultural exports from Canada to China are inching higher.

Canada’s sudden issue with China comes against the backdrop of even worse trade tensions between China and the U.S., and Canada has become something of a pawn in that dispute.

As the Trump administration put tariffs on Chinese imports last year, Beijing retaliated and put levies on all sorts of U.S. products bound for China. One of the major ones is soybeans, which are now subject to a 25 per cent levy when they are shipping from the U.S. to China.

Faced with that sudden bill, Chinese importers tried to work around it by buying more from other countries, including Brazil and Canada. Canada was the second-leading supplier of soybeans to China in January, behind only Brazil.

With files from the CBC’s Scott Peterson, Karen Pauls and Katie Simpson

Toronto Pearson Recognized as North America’s Best

In 2013, Toronto Pearson set out a bold vision – to be the best airport in the world. Our team made a commitment to listening to our passengers, working with our partners and operating in an innovative and collaborative way. In 2017, we saw signs that these efforts were paying off, when Toronto Pearson was recognized by Airports Council International (ACI)’s Airport Service Quality Program as the Best Airport in North America serving over 40 million passengers.

I am pleased to tell you that today, ACI announced that Toronto Pearson has again been recognized as the 2018 Best Large Airport in North America and was doubly recognized as the Most Improved Airport in North America.

This recognition reflects Toronto Pearson’s ASQ score of 4.45 out of a possible 5. To earn the “most improved” designation, Toronto Pearson also demonstrated the most year-over-year improvements of any participating airport, making improvements in almost 90 per cent of the customer experience indicators measured.

When travelling through Toronto Pearson, you may have noticed some of the new ways you can count on Pearson to deliver a great travel experience, that gets our passengers to their destinations smoothly, reliably and comfortably:

  • Improvements to airport ambiance – including enhanced customer service and the opening of 26 new retail, food and beverage locations across both terminals, including a redevelopment of the US Food Court area located near Duty Free in Terminal 3;
  • Moving passengers faster from curb to gate – with new CATSA Plus security screening lanes, more than 400 digital screens introduced for improved wayfinding, and enhanced ground transportation options;
  • Creating a more comfortable environment – including 80 fully renovated washrooms in Terminal 3, continued work towards improvement of the cleanliness of terminals, the introduction of therapy dogs and nursing pods, and assisted changerooms; and,
  • Enhanced entertainment – with the free in-terminal music program, YYZ Live, and ten times faster free airport WiFi.

This achievement is possible because of the dedication and effort of the nearly 50,000 employees, representing 400 employers, that bring Toronto Pearson to our passengers every day. Their hard work and dedication mean that our global visitors start and finish their time in Toronto with a world-class passenger experience.

The news release can be viewed here.

Howard Eng
President and Chief Executive Officer