Port of Montreal receives $132-million expansion to facilitate overseas exports

MONTREAL – The Port of Montreal will receive a $132-million makeover in anticipation of an increase in exports due to the recently signed free-trade deal between Canada and the European Union.

Federal Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel announced Tuesday that Ottawa will contribute $43.7 million to the project, which he said was “directly linked” to the new trade deal with Europe.

“We can only hope that the Port of Montreal becomes even more of a regional hub and that trade with the EU increases exponentially,” Lebel said.

The remainder of the money will come from the port itself and the project is expected to create 2,500 jobs, according to the port authority.

Mooring posts will be deepened in order to accommodate larger vessels, while the project will also facilitate the circulation of trucks and increase the port’s capacity to handle containers.

The Port of Montreal is the country’s second-largest after Vancouver and the fifth-largest along the eastern North American coastline.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said the renovations will make the city’s port “more competitive and will increase (its) capacity to handle a much larger volume of merchandise.”

Renovations are scheduled to be completed by 2018.