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About: Windsor Port Authority

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Port Traffic Rebounds in 2015

After a slump in total tonnage handled in 2014 following the record year in 2013, Port Windsor rebounded nicely in 2015 with an increase in total traffic of 3.8%. Tonnage reached 5.M2 million tonnes, well above both the five and ten year averages for the port.

David Cree, President & CEO of the Windsor Port Authority stated “Although we did record weaknesses ¡n several of our cargo categories, stone and construction aggregates had a remarkable year, increasing by almost 50% over 2014 and accounting for the overall gain in traffic. This substantial increase in construction materials was generated by the start of construction of the new customs plaza which will serve the Gordie Howe International Bridge”.

As noted, several of the other major products handled within the port experienced declines in 2015, including salt, petroleum, grain and general cargo. Mr. Cree noted “while declines in any commodities are disappointing, we do not see any of these as establishing a trend; they merely represent the normal cycles we experience based on numerous factors, including local economic conditions and world markets”.

George Sandala, Chair of the Port Authority, summarized the year as follows: “We are particularly gratified by both the cargo and financial results which we were able to achieve in 2015. As we have noted in the past, almost all of our net earnings are re-invested in the community. In recent years, this has resulted in significant development and improvements in Sandwich Towne, including the new HMCS Hunter Naval Reserve Facility, the development of over 1500 linear feet of fish habitat along the Detroit River and the on-going construction of two waterfront parks. As our short and long term projections remain positive, this will allow the Port Authority to continue to make significant investments in Windsor’s future”.

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Contributions

The Port Authority also makes significant annual contributions to local charities and organizations (including six scholarships at the University of Windsor and St. Clair College) and has partnered with the City of Windsor on several municipal projects.

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Major Commodities

There are currently 14 major marine terminals actively operating within the port which handle between five and six million tonnes annually. The two major commodities handled have traditionally been salt and construction aggregates which account for approximately 70% of the port’s annual throughput. In addition, the port handles steel, fluorspar, petroleum products, grain, trucks on barges, cement, various heavy lifts and project cargo.

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Growth and Development

The Port Authority is also a strong catalyst for growth and development with over $60 million in new construction occurring on Port Authority lands within the past five years (HMCS Hunter Naval Reserve Facility, Sterling Fuels/Miller Paving, Lafarge Canada).

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Why Windsor?

Windsor is one of the largest ports in the country and generates significant economic activity. In a recently completed study, it was estimated that port activities produce over $130.5 million in economic activity, supports over 937 jobs in Ontario, generates $17.6 million in federal and provincial taxes with cargo and vessel movements, and annually moves over 5 million metric tonnes of cargo.

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Revenue

First and foremost, the Windsor Port Authority is required by the Canada Marine Act to be financially self-sufficient and to set port fees to ensure that it does so. We do not receive government funding to subsidize our operations and our decisions must therefore be based on sound business principles. Our revenues come from 4 main sources – port fees, land leases, marinas, and interest income.

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Sandwich Towne

The Port Authority is one of the largest landowners in the Sandwich Towne area and works diligently with that community to improve the quality of life for its residents through on-going clean-up campaigns, park development and donations to numerous charities and activities.

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Other Functions

The Port Authority also has shared responsibility within the Port for environmental response and stewardship, safety and security, trade development, and various other permitting and regulatory functions.

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General Practice

The WPA currently administers approximately 100 acres of upland property and 1500 acres of waterlots. The Port Authority does not normally operate terminals – our general practice is to develop appropriate facilities and then lease these to the private sector.

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Top 10

There are 18 port authorities in Canada, and Windsor ranks approximately 10th in terms of total annual tonnage. There are 5 port authorities in the Great Lakes Region: Hamilton, Oshawa, Thunder Bay, Toronto and Windsor.

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