Marc Garneau

Federal transport minister Marc Garneau, far right, announces $7.5 million for infrastructure at Thunder Bay’s port on Tuesday alongside Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Patty Hajdu, centre, and Port of Thunder Bay CEO Tim Heney, far left.

The Port of Thunder Bay received $7.5 million in federal funding to help improve its capacity for shipments.

Canadian transport minister Marc Garneau made the announcement on the lawn of the Port of Thunder Bay’s office on Tuesday.

“It’s an important port in terms of moving goods either east or west,” he said.

The investment is part of the federal government’s $180-billion National Trade Corridors Fund, a strategy for addressing long-term infrastructure needs to improve the efficiency of Canada’s trade corridors.

“The movement of goods across the country, whether it’s coming to Thunder Bay, leaving Thunder Bay or any other port in the country or along our railway lines — how effectively we do that is literally counted almost down to the hour,” said Garneau. “There are ships waiting and when ships don’t get the goods that need to arrive and to be transferred very efficiently, they lose money. Their customers get annoyed and we potentially lose business.”

In Thunder Bay, the money will cover approximately half of the $15 million in infrastructure upgrades the port has planned. The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund is providing $1 million and port CEO Tim Heney said the rest of the money will come from the port authority’s self-generated funds.

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