Moving forward on an idea to boost Welland Canal potential in Niagara

CKTB-NEWS-Welland_Canal_St. Catharines

The idea of building three hubs along the Welland Canal is taking another step forward.

Niagara Centre's MP Vance Badawey says the Mayors of Port Colborne, Welland, Thorold, and the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority are all onboard to move ahead to buy land and build hubs along the canal to make trade and transport easier.

Badawey says the idea of establishing Niagara as an active trade corridor is a notion he took to Ottawa when he was first elected in 2015, and now its really gaining traction.

He says by adding three multimodal hubs under the Niagara Ports banner enhances the ability for local communities to take full economic advantage of the assets we already have in place with the goal of strengthening the regional economy for all.

He says while additional work and partnerships are required, these first steps are reasons to celebrate.

Each of the three proposed Hubs will need to be declared surplus by Transport Canada.

Port Colborne Mayor William Steele says  “This is an exciting day that has long been in the making. The Port Colborne community is thrilled to see this collaborative initiative expand our local economy. By leveraging our existing assets and strengths and building on what we already do well in the community, this development prompts job creation which is a positive for both Port Colborne and the entire region.”

Mayor of Welland, Frank Campion stated, “I have been working on this initiative for the past 5 years and am extremely pleased to be collaborating with our partner municipalities, HOPA and the Federal Government on The Niagara Ports Project. Through this partnership we become an integral part of the Canadian Trade Corridor with national and international business implications and opportunities for Welland and Niagara.”

Mayor of Thorold, Terry Ugulini added, “The Welland Canal passes through the very center of our city, and the Twin Flight Locks, already attracts thousands of tourists to the community each year. I could not be more pleased to be a part of this initiative as it harnesses and builds upon the solid foundation of industrial and marine assets we have here in the City of Thorold. This partnership will allow us to leverage these key assets to create jobs, spark new and innovative economic development, that reinforces partnerships and networks that will advance our strategic objectives both now and into the future. There is no doubt that this is a positive step towards our long-standing goal of making the City of Thorold an even better place to live, work and play.”