News Release Archive

  Shipping lines will not pay for navigational aids they don't
  need at Halifax if they can get a better price to do
  business in Baltimore or New York, was the message
  Transportation and Communications Minister Richie Mann took
  to Coast Guard Commissioner John Thomas at a private meeting
  late today. The minister provided a copy of the provincial
  brief to the commissioner on cost recovery principles
  proposed last month by the Coast Guard.
  "Concerned governments, shippers, carriers, and the business
  and labour communities in this area have been telling the
  CCG that any cost recovery regime should have a distance
  component and a cargo component. The distance component is a
  measure of the amount of service used. There would be a
  direct relationship between the amount of services used, and
  the resulting cost. There would be a discipline of demand by
  the users, and the users would have an incentive to continue
  to pressure the CCG for efficiency and cost reduction. Mr.
  Commissioner, that is the proper principle," the brief
  "This province, and the shippers and businesses in this
  province, understand and support user-pay," Mr. Mann said.
  "Everyone who ships through Halifax or any other Atlantic
  coastal port pays the full cost of rail shipment inland
  -- does it make sense that those same shippers and
  businesses should have to subsidize movement of goods by
  water to inland Ports? We have lived with user fees, and
  have built them into our cost structures so that we are able
  to compete with the most aggressive of U.S. east coast
  ports. An additional, unreasonable cost, however, would tip
  that competitive balance, and Canada would lose the
  Mr. Mann will lead a small representative delegation to
  Ottawa to meet with Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Fred
  Mifflin, who is responsible for the Coast Guard. He will
  urge the federal minister to establish an independent
  analysis of the broad public policy implications for the
  Coast Guard's proposals for cost recovery compared with the
  true user fee approach being applied to airports, marine
  services such as the Bluenose Ferry, and to rail.
  "We are certainly eager to work with the Coast Guard to
  reach a fair and equitable user fee arrangement, but it is
  critical that the Government of Canada understand the issue
  of competitiveness, and what that means for this region,"
  Mr. Mann said.
  EDITORS NOTE: A backgrounder on the meeting is available by
  calling 902-424-4492.
  Contact: Donna McCready 902-424-8687
  jlw                    Feb. 08, 1996     5:15 p.m.