Canada will help pay for increased port security

Canada will help pay for increased port security

OTTAWA - The Canadian government on Friday unveiled a three-year, C$115 million ($83.4 million) program to help ports pay for increased security measures.

Port authorities and terminal operators have lobbied hard for aid, saying they would lose business to U.S. ports that receive federal port security grants.

Transport Minister Tony Valeri, announcing the program at the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, said the funding will be provided on application by ports and port facility operators, on a cost-shared 75 percent government-25 percent recipient basis.

The funding is in addition to a $224 million program recently announced to support marine security. Capital funding from government for ports and port facilities and the St. Lawrence Seaway has been forbidden by law, but Parliament recently passed legislation permitting aid for security purposes.

Projects eligible for funding range from surveillance systems and communications equipment to gates, fencing, security guards and arrangements with local police departments.

Valeri said the funding would also help ports meet the International Maritime Organization's International Ship and Port Facility Security code due to take effect July 1.

-- Courtney Tower