Eyford to ease First Nations Prince Rupert box terminal concerns
Douglas Eyford, a litigation partner at Vancouver, British Columbia-based law firm Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, has been appointed as chief federal negotiator to try and resolve some outstanding concerns of First Nations tribes over projects at the new Fairview container terminal in the new Canadian West Coast Port of Prince Rupert.
First Nations members comprise about half of the local area’s International Longshore and Warehouse Union workers. All of the terminal’s ceremonial events, including the first ship arrival at the end of October, have been blessed by tribe leaders.
“Mr. Eyford has an excellent background that is well-suited to this important role,” said Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for M'tis and Non-Status Indians. “Our government is committed to negotiating a fair and balanced agreement that will provide access to economic opportunities and benefits for local First Nations, their neighbors and all Canadians.”
The Canadian government is one of the partners in the Fairview project along with Maher Terminals, the Prince Rupert Port Authority and Canadian National Railway. The government has already invested C$30 million with a further C$28 million coming to establish a container-screening program.
The remote Canadian terminal, nearly 500 miles from a major city, has an initial capacity of 500,000 TEUs that could rise to 2 million TEUs by 2015. It is being touted as a faster alternative for Asian cargoes into the U.S. heartland compared to U.S. West Coast ports due to its closer proximity to the Far East and its impressive on-dock rail facilities.
For more on the Fairview terminal development and its future impact on North American cargo traffic flows, see the January American Shipper, pages 66-74.