Rupert port offers opportunities to islanders

  • Mar. 19, 2007 8:00 p.m.

The Council of the Haida Nation and islands community leaders will be inviting Prince Rupert’s Port Authority to the islands to talk about opportunities created by the new container port.
“There’s tremendous opportunity in Prince Rupert right now,” Frank Collison told the protocol communities meeting March 13 in Old Massett. “We’d like to bring these people over here some time.”
Mr. Collison said he and two other representatives of the Haida Nation met with the Port Authority a few weeks ago and got a full two-hour update on the project. The people he met with said they would be happy to make a presentation on the islands.
The container port is expected to bring shipments from China and other countries in the Far East to North American markets. The Vancouver port is already dealing with huge amounts of traffic, and Prince Rupert is a couple of days closer to China by ocean.
The ships will head back to their home ports after unloading in Rupert, and that’s where the opportunity lies, Mr. Collison explained.
“Sixty percent of the units will be going back empty to the Far East, so there’s tremendous opportunities for what we could manufacture on the islands,” he said.
Possible exports from the islands include wood pellets and seafood products, he said.
The leaders attending the protocol meeting said they would be interested in hearing more from the Port Authority.
Masset mayor Barry Pages suggested that they be invited to do an islands-wide public presentation.
“There’s opportunity there for the whole northern corridor to be a big player,” he said.
Mr. Collison said he would get in touch with the Port Authority and set up a meeting, which will be well-advertised and open to everyone.

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