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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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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Port Authority is governed by a Board of local residents: 1 appointed by each of the Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments and 4 by the Federal Government in consultation with local port users.
The Windsor Port Authority is a Federal agency created in 1999 under the provisions of the Canada Marine Act. Prior to the creation of the Port Authority, the port had been administered by the Windsor Harbour Commission which was also a Federal entity. In 1998 the Canada Marine Act was enacted which created the Port Authority structure to combine all the major ports under one Act and to modernize and commercialize port operations.