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                                                                             DISCUSSION
                                                                                PAPER
                                                   2




                Canada’s Arctic Gateway
                                DISCUSSION PAPER




                                         Prepared By
                            PPM Public Policy Management Limited


                                           SEPTEMBER 2010




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TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                               Page

INTRODUCTION                                                                      3


OVERVIEW AND KEY QUESTIONS                                                        3
      Gateway Perceptions
      National Framework
      Governance and Structure
      Implementation


BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT                                                            6

 1. Arctic and Northern Perspective                                               6
       1.1 Climate Impact
       1.2 Development Basis
       1.3 Policy Directions

 2. Applying the Gateway Concept                                                  9
      2.1 Defining Gateways
      2.2 Arctic Gateway Perspective

 3. Canada’s Gateways                                                           11
      3.1 Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor
      3.2 Atlantic Gateway
      3.3 Ontario-Quebec Continental Gateway and Trade Corridor
      3.4 National Gateways Program
      3.5 Lessons for the Arctic Gateway

 4. Arctic Gateway-Related Initiatives                                          17
       4.1 Advisory Reports
       4.2 Research Relevant to an Arctic Gateway
       4.3 Territorial and Provincial Initiatives
       4.5 Regional Gateways

 5. Strategic Direction                                                         23




        Disclaimer: Please note that the views expressed throughout this discussion
        paper are exclusively those of the author. They are put forward to encourage
        debate and constructive dialogue. They do not represent opinions or
        perspectives other than those of the researchers and policy specialists of
        the discussion paper’s author, PPM Public Policy Management Limited.




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INTRODUCTION

This discussion paper serves as a reference point for consideration of Canada’s designation of a
national Arctic Gateway. It presents information and poses questions for debate regarding the
implementation of the Arctic Gateway that will be discussed in the “Northern Directions” Arctic
Gateway Summit, November 8-10, 2010 in Winnipeg, an event organized by the Province of
Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg.

The preparation of this discussion paper has been sponsored by the University of Winnipeg
through its special programs funded by the OmniTRAX/Broe Quest Series Inc to support
innovative ideas and spark new initiatives. However, it is important to note that the views
expressed in this discussion paper are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily
represent the positions of the University of Winnipeg, Province of Manitoba, or any government
agency.

The intent of this paper is to provide a starting point for discussion to take place at the
“Northern Directions” Arctic Gateway Summit. It is hoped that the discussion paper will give rise
to a wide-ranging assessment of the ways to define and establish the Arctic Gateway. It provides
perspectives and opinions on the importance of adopting an approach in governance, strategic
investments and decision-making that builds on a coherent sense of purpose. It outlines issues
for dialogue about the structure and procedures necessary to make Canada’s Arctic Gateway a
reality in terms of both national public policy and international presence.

This discussion paper was designed to provoke an examination of the ways to establish the
Arctic Gateway within the Government of Canada’s national gateway policy framework. This
discussion paper’s use of the term “Arctic” is meant to reference in many instances the sub-
Arctic areas of the territories and northern regions of the provinces that share a number of the
conditions and challenges of isolated Canadian communities and populations. It also points out
the potential significance of an Arctic Gateway to the international community, and the
important role this initiative could play in Canada’s international relations.

The first section entitled “Overview and Key Questions” presents a summary of the background
information, findings and opinions that are more extensively explained in the latter section. This
section also puts forward some specific questions that should be addressed as the concepts
underlying the Arctic Gateway are considered.

The second section “Background and Context” reviews the experience and lessons of the three
current national gateways and the policy framework that supports them. It also presents an
overview of the various initiatives that have already set the stage for the establishment of a
national Arctic Gateway.



OVERVIEW AND KEY QUESTIONS

The Arctic is undergoing unprecedented changes in climate, accessibility of resources, and
transformation in marine transportation conditions. The potential for resource development and
viable shipping routes, unanticipated until very recently, also brings the prospect of significant
impacts on communities and ways of life across the North. The challenge of balancing
commercial and traditional values, particularly related to the transportation system and
infrastructure of the North, has become daunting.

Framing the future of Canada’s Arctic from a national gateway perspective would enable
governments and the private sector to adopt a more comprehensive and coordinated approach

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to development in the region. For example, the governance structures to enable international
involvement and indigenous community participation in shaping the future of the North will be
crucial in Arctic Gateway development. Innovative governance arrangements that emphasize
consensus-building are widely considered to be necessary in the North to assess and make
decisions about proposed trade and development initiatives, as well as new transportation and
related infrastructure.

That being said, the future of Canada’s Arctic and Northern regions is a concern of the
international community, not only a matter of interest to Canadians. Decisions about Canadian
policies and activities in the Arctic in the coming years will directly affect Canada’s international
links, as well as transportation costs and speed of shipping from Russia, India, China and other
Pacific nations into Europe and the east coast of North America. Indeed, Canada’s decisions
about the future of the Arctic will have significant implications for international relations and the
future of trade patterns across the globe.

The Arctic Gateway must be visualized in the context of its several different issues and
challenges, including national sovereignty, indigenous stewardship and environmental integrity,
not simply in terms of economic impacts and transportation systems. In particular, an Arctic
Gateway must contribute to the sustainable development of isolated northern areas of Canada
that have had little in common with the country’s long-established east and west coast seaports
and urban transportation hubs.

Based on this recognition, the organizers of the “Northern Directions” Arctic Gateway Summit
have identified three themes for exploration: Gateways and Corridors; Sustainable Communities;
and Indigenous and Northern Participation. The participants will be asked to examine each of
these themes in terms of their importance in establishing a national Arctic gateway in Canada.
In contrast with a traditional conference, this Summit is designed to engage participants in an
activity to develop the elements of a strategic plan, including the initial priorities for action and
investment.

Key questions arising from this discussion paper and from informed sources involved in trade
and transportation corridors will be addressed during the Summit events. As a start, questions
arising within each theme would include:

•   Gateways and Corridors: How would an Arctic Gateway enable Canadian companies and
    investors to capture emerging opportunities, strengthen the viability of new shipping
    avenues, and facilitate access to new international markets?
•   Sustainable Communities: In what ways would an Arctic Gateway reinforce environmental
    protection and regional sustainability objectives, as well as reinforce Canada’s sovereignty
    objectives across the North?
•   Indigenous and Northern Participation: How could the lives of Arctic and Northern
    residents and their communities be enhanced through effective governance in the
    development and implementation of a comprehensive national Arctic Gateway strategy?

In addition to these matters, several other issues and related questions are relevant for
consideration of the national Arctic Gateway and will also be reviewed in discussions at the
“Northern Directions” Arctic Gateway Summit.

Gateway Perceptions

The current national gateways in Canada were established on the strength and growth potential
of the North American economy and markets -- as both a supplier and a consumer of goods and
merchandise. When combined, the continental market of Canada, Mexico and the United States
totalled last year over 450 million consumers with a combined Gross Domestic Product of US$16


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trillion. In 2008, North America’s merchandise trade consisted of US$2.0 trillion in exports and
US$2.9 trillion in imports.

Canada’s national gateways are crucial facilitators for the country’s existing and potential
international trade. In Canada, the term “gateway” has been used primarily to describe ports,
transportation, distribution and logistics, with an emphasis on factors such as volumes of
traffic. The notion of gateways, however, has been evolving to encompass national issues
including environmental protection, human security, national sovereignty, international
relations, and economic development strategies.

Gateways today are about more than trade and transportation facilities, locations and
connections, particularly when viewed in terms of Canada’s Arctic and northern regions that are
becoming more accessible. They especially need to account for unique social, environmental
and governance needs, as well as the changing physical landscape and ocean conditions
brought on by climate change and long-term sustainability requirements.

•   In what ways could leadership and support by Canadians and the international community
    be mobilized to address the array of relevant issues and enable the Arctic Gateway to obtain
    national designation by the Government of Canada?

National Framework

Under a national policy framework, the Government of Canada has, so far, designated three
major trade and transportation gateways: Atlantic region, Asia-Pacific region, and the central
Ontario/Quebec region. Over the past five years, these national gateways have become
hallmarks of Canada’s evolving trade and transportation strategy. Ottawa’s designation of an
Arctic Gateway would complete the family of national gateway organizations that already
constitute Canada’s main western, eastern and southern connections with the world.

The national designation of an Arctic Gateway under the current federal government policy
framework requires meeting five policy lens criteria:
       1. Alignment with Canada’s international commercial strategy,
       2. Significant volumes and trade value,
       3. Prospects in emerging trade and transportation opportunities,
       4. Scope for improvement through strategic investment, and
       5. Role for federal government involvement.

While the sheer volume of Arctic trade is considerably lower than the established gateways, the
Arctic Gateway already fulfills all of the national policy framework requirements. Some of the
criteria, such as growth potential and significance for contributing to national objectives, are
particular strengths of the Arctic Gateway.

•   How should the national gateway qualification criteria be applied to accurately measure and
    reflect the unique opportunities and nature of the Arctic Gateway and its rapidly growing
    significance for Canada?

Governance and Structure

The unique conditions of the Arctic include jurisdictional, cultural and collective decision-
making differences from the rest of Canada. The governance arrangements in the Arctic
particularly need to respect and accommodate the ways in which indigenous communities have
been developing consensus and determining their futures.

The existing government structures and international agencies involved in decisions related to
gateway issues could be supplemented by an innovative Arctic Gateway governance structure to

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enable indigenous communities, environmental organizations and the business sector to
become more directly and collaboratively involved in shaping the future. One recent proposal in
particular -- the establishment of a network as the organizational basis for the Arctic Gateway --
could be given consideration as the means to enable inclusiveness and accommodate
consensus-building in an appropriate governance structure.

•   What governance structures should be adopted for an Arctic Gateway? Could a network
    model for Arctic Gateway governance effectively reflect the array of international and
    regional interests in the North?

As the Asia-Pacific Gateway has shown, research is an essential element that would be necessary
to underpin the strategic planning and operational objectives for the Arctic Gateway. Focussed
and applied research at the technical and policy levels is needed to provide the necessary basis
for understanding emerging gateway-related impacts and trends, such as climate change and
international shipping issues, and their significance for the Arctic regions.

•   What knowledge gaps need to be filled, and which unique Arctic circumstances relevant to
    gateway development should be given particular attention or priority by researchers?

Implementation

The two initial national gateways have made use of existing organizations (port and airport
authorities, not-for-profit institutions, and industry sector associations) to provide the
operational platform and staff to implement their objectives in tangible ways. Among the
lessons learned from the experience of those first national gateways was the importance of
private sector leadership and organizational resources, in addition to government participation,
as essential ingredients at the earliest stages of national gateway development.

It may be necessary to create a new private-sector-led organization to enable the Arctic Gateway
to be launched and become operational. The existing organizations in Nunavut and Manitoba
working in Arctic trade and transportation are limited by their regional or local mandates, and
none has the current resources or scope of mandate to act as the primary Arctic Gateway
implementing agency.

•   How could the resources of companies, government agencies and community groups be
    pooled in support of an organization that could lead the development of the Arctic Gateway?
    How should the Arctic Gateway supporting infrastructure of funding and personnel be
    established and structured?



BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT

This segment of the discussion paper is intended to provide technical and historical information
to help to inform dialogue on the points and questions outlined in the preceding “Overview and
Key Issues” segment. It presents an explanation of various aspects of gateway development and
its relevance to a national Arctic Gateway. It also offers interpretations and opinions about the
activities and current initiatives that have helped to set the stage for the designation of
Canada’s Arctic Gateway and the development of a strategic plan for its future.


1. Arctic and Northern Perspective

Transportation and trade are increasingly crucial issues for the future of the Arctic and Northern
regions of Canada. Imminent decisions about polar shipping routes, new trade linkages with the

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world, and transportation infrastructure investment will set the stage for the Arctic’s growing
role in Canada’s and the world’s commerce. These will be vital components in the shaping of
communities, activities and prospects in Canada’s North throughout the coming decades.

And yet to most Canadians, the Arctic regions are given little thought or attention, beyond
sporadic news coverage or glimpses at maps showing what appears to be a huge empty space
of northern Canada reaching towards the North Pole. For some Canadians, the Arctic has a
mystical reverence. For others, it evokes thoughts of the vast untouched, timeless wilderness.
The sheer distance from urban Canada makes the northern regions and the Arctic in particular
seem like a foreign land. Few Canadians have, so far, thought of the Arctic as being an
emerging international transportation and trade venue.

But, the general perception of the Arctic as a place frozen in time and space is an illusion. The
northern regions of Canada are undergoing monumental changes in natural conditions, human
presence and investor interest. New climate patterns are dramatically altering the landscape and
environment. The ice that had once blocked and deterred shipping in many parts of the Arctic
has been receding, and leaving open water. While the Arctic waters bordering Russia are
opening even more rapidly than Canada’s, the phenomenon and scale of this change is
apparent. Canada’s Arctic region is increasingly becoming integral to the country’s geopolitical
strategies and future.


1.1 Climate Impact

The changes in the Arctic are matters of serious concern for their impacts on community life,
traditional economies, and natural conditions that had once seemed immune to any alteration.
At the same time, they present the opportunity to introduce significant shifts in transportation
systems and governance arrangements, and to begin linking the Arctic region to the rest of
Canada and the world in new ways.

The changes in ice conditions, with icebreaking assistance in winter months, offer the opening
of the Northwest Passage to commercial shipping. The extraordinary savings in time and
distance resulting from it will make this route viable and irresistible. The expanded shipping
season for the Port of Churchill through northern waters has already been demonstrating the
greater practicality and value of Arctic shipping.

One of Canada’s Arctic experts, Michael Byers, described the situation:

        Canada has the longest coastline of any country, most of it in the Arctic. For centuries,
        that coastline was rendered inaccessible by thick, hard “multiyear” ice. But climate
        change is suddenly causing the sea ice to disappear… Soon, all of the Arctic’s sea ice will
        melt away during the summer months… And this will make icebreaker-assisted, year-
        round shipping commercially feasible.

At the same time, the lure of natural resources in the Arctic is making it increasingly attractive
to investors and developers. New northern transportation systems to serve mining and energy
projects are becoming crucial considerations. This situation is giving rise to an array of
unanticipated decisions and unpalatable choices in some instances about development in Arctic
regions and communities. For instance, the significant initiative to create another Arctic deep
sea port facility (in addition to the Port of Churchill) at Nanisivik is a federal government
initiative announced in 2007 to provide more shipping support. Its establishment was not
seriously contemplated even a decade ago. While this will mean greater economic opportunity
for some, it also brings the prospect of changing traditional ways of life and environmental
impacts.


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The opening of Arctic regions to shipping is also beginning to tip the geopolitical balance of
countries in the northern hemisphere. The possibility of international shipping through the
Arctic routes bordering Russia, rather than via Canada’s Northwest Passage, would have
significant implications for trade and development requirements in the Canadian Arctic.

The possibility of establishing an all-weather road into Nunavut through Manitoba, connecting
with the Churchill rail and Trans-Canada highway systems is being investigated. It may become
more technically feasible, although costly, in light of climate change impacts. While it would face
serious significant construction and maintenance challenges, an all-weather road into the Arctic
could, in future decades, dramatically alter Canada’s northern transportation system and
community life across the North.

Climate change has affected other strategic national policy decisions related to the Arctic and
northern regions. Central issues for the Arctic are the intertwined policies of national security
and environmental protection. The conflicting views and interests of several countries regarding
sovereignty in the Arctic are gaining greater attention as concerns about sustainability in
resource development and responsibility for environmental integrity are becoming more
apparent for Arctic communities and residents. The capacity of Canada to enforce its
environmental protection laws is also a concern, especially given the on-going issues of national
boundaries across parts of the Arctic.


1.2 Development Basis

In the midst of these all these changes and trends, northern communities and residents are
looking for ways to maintain control of their destiny, and they need to ensure that the benefits
of development outweigh the costs, particularly in terms of impacts on their traditional ways of
life and environmental conditions. For many in the North, the sudden shift towards resource
development has made them wary about decisions made elsewhere that would undermine their
communities. The measures taken by northerners to halt seismic testing in Lancaster Sound this
year reflects their determination to have development proceed only with their free, prior and
informed consent.

The traditional economic development model followed by Canada for two centuries involved
prevailing assumptions about the basis for resource extraction and prairie agriculture. Mining
and farming proceeded across southern Canada with few impediments or concern for
environmental effects. That economic development model is no longer valid, particularly for the
Arctic. The notion of exploiting Canada’s hinterland for the sole purpose of stripping resources
and establishing settlement to support it may have been acceptable in its time, but no longer
fits with the realities of Canada’s North. The Diefenbaker government’s “Roads to Resources”
program was an appealing slogan for a northern development program sixty years ago, but it
took place in an era that overlooked indigenous land entitlement, vulnerable northern ecology,
and impacts on societies in isolated communities.

It will be particularly important to develop innovative ways to involve indigenous communities in
decisions and governance arrangements for the evolving transportation and international trade
systems. This involvement of all interested and affected northerners in governance and
decision-making is necessary to counterbalance the prevailing conventional economic
development approach.

The future of Arctic transportation and trade needs to be considered in broader perspectives of
development than simply resource exploitation. Measurement of progress in the Arctic requires
more than economic valuations. The adoption of a gateway strategy is an essential step to guide
the development of the Arctic’s trade and transportation connections with Canada and the
world. It could establish a new model for development that incorporates the unique needs and

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conditions of the Arctic in terms of shared values, participatory governance, collaborative
planning, and careful environmental protection.




1.3 Policy Direction

Canada needs to build a unique national Arctic Gateway strategy that encompasses
sustainability and gives full weight to community and social objectives as it facilitates all
significant future development in trade, transportation and resource use. The growing interest
of resource companies in the Arctic is driven by the shortages of commodities and energy, and
the region has become a “hot spot” for investor interest from around the world. Until recently,
there were few government transportation policies in place that were able to address the
evolving northern conditions.

The risks associated with shipping are among those that raise obvious concerns. The fragile
Arctic environment could not withstand the effects of serious accidents in resource extraction or
transportation catastrophes. In light of the environment’s vulnerability, the decisions related to
development in the northern regions must be rigorously driven by risk-averse strategies to a
greater extent than they have been for other parts of Canada.

The recent work of governments in setting and re-positioning effective northern transportation
policies has been a timely and valuable start. Manitoba’s transportation policy directions have
helped to restore the province’s traditional role as a major distribution centre serving the North.
The Nunavut government is beginning to implement its recent Ingirrasiliqto (Let’s Get Moving)
Nunavut Transportation Strategy and High Arctic Transportation Strategy that both serve as
guiding service frameworks and plans for the region. Addressing air, marine and road
transportation and their connections, the Nunavut transportation strategies acknowledge the
vastly different needs of passengers, perishable goods, and bulk commodities. The 2008 policy
document entitled Northern Connections: A Multi-Modal Transportation Blueprint for the North
represents yet another valuable contribution of information on the challenges and possible
responses by all three northern territorial governments.

At the same time, the provincial and territorial governments are constrained by their
jurisdictional limits, tight budgets and restricted policy-setting capacity to implement the
measures they identify as priorities in northern trade and transportation. They also focus, as
they must, on serving local and immediate needs of northern communities, rather than the
larger national and international context.

By contrast, Canada’s national gateway initiatives have not been significantly limited by
geographic or jurisdictional boundaries. They have been succeeding, to a considerable degree,
in bringing together all of the stakeholders in industry, trade and transportation to build a
potent, united effort. They have, in many instances, drawn together government and private
sector participants to establish common cause to support the large-scale initiatives and long-
term investments that are needed to expand and consolidate their transportation and
international trade systems.


2. Applying the Gateway Concept

The notions underlying trade and transportation gateways, and their application in Canada, are
often vaguely or too simplistically described. The task of finding the appropriate description for
the gateway concept as it is being applied in Canada has been daunting.


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2.1 Defining Gateways

At the earliest stage of gateway policy development, the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada faced
the dilemma of describing its notions of the gateway concept. They chose to portray it as being
subject to “multiple visions”. They variously described the Pacific Gateway’s basis as being:

        “A gate through which people and goods pass; an open (or closed) door; the path to new
        opportunities; a point of exchange. These are all possible synonyms depicting the
        physical nature of a gateway.”

The Asia-Pacific Foundation also explained that the gateway concept was seen differently from
municipal, provincial and national government levels, and differently again from a local, national
or international perspective. It went on the state:

        “…the crucial challenge for the Gateway is to implement coordinated policies that will
        offer a balance between facilitating the effective and rapid flow of goods, people and
        ideas and preserving national security, sovereignty and sustainability.”

Others have portrayed gateways in Canada as being about people and communities, as well as
physical access and infrastructure. They have variously been explained as being:

    •   “a burgeoning set of national strategies”
    •   “framework for policies, investments and initiatives”
    •   “network of transportation infrastructure”
    •   “integrated transportation systems and facilities”.

In 1998, the intergovernmental Task Force on the Mid-Continent International Trade Corridor
faced a similar problem in defining corridors and gateways. They cited the parable of the blind
wise men touching a different part of an elephant and each giving a vastly different description
of it. For that task force, the vision encompassed geography, communities, transportation
connections and evolving new trade patterns -- all particularly relevant factors for a national
Arctic Gateway today.

The Government of Canada’s National Policy Framework documents that constitute the federal
gateway strategy describe gateways and trade corridors as: “…major systems of marine, road,
rail and air transportation infrastructure of national significance for international commerce,
within a defined geographical zone.”

The Framework documents go on more precisely to describe a gateway as being:
“…a multimodal entry/exit point through which goods and services and international
passengers move beyond local, or even regional, markets”. And, they explain that a trade
corridor is “…a linear, multimodal orientation of international passenger and freight flows that
connect gateways to major markets.” They state further that gateway and corridor strategies
involve integrated packages of long-term investment and policy measures that advance the
development and exploitation of gateways and corridors for national benefit.

Local transportation gateway and trade organizations have sprung up throughout Canada to
declare their gateway status and serve as advocates for increased business activity, investment,
branding, and marketing of their communities and regions.


2.2 Arctic Gateway Perspective



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The creation and designation by the federal government of a national Arctic Gateway and a
supporting strategy would be an appropriate and timely step. An Arctic Gateway would serve a
crucial role in Canada’s national interest to serve the emerging Northwest Passage
transportation route and reinforce Canada’s sovereignty, security and environmental protection
in the Arctic. The segment of the national policy framework that describes the qualification of a
major Canadian gateway as having “national significance for international commerce” is entirely
applicable to an Arctic Gateway.

In the view of some, the Arctic Gateway could be visualized in a “T” formation. The primary
north-south segment is the region bordering the western side of Hudson Bay including portions
of Manitoba and Nunavut. The east-west segment is the Northwest Passage and the shipping
routes through Arctic waters, connecting the Pacific and Atlantic.

At the same time, the T-shaped Arctic Gateway would, like the other national gateways, need to
encompass a wide geographic swath, not simply represent the transportation infrastructure and
routes themselves. That T-shaped visual image of the Arctic Gateway could be misinterpreted as
excluding or overlooking the crucial transportation connections of the Arctic with Quebec and
other parts of Canada. Still, the T-shape is a useful reminder that the Arctic Gateway constitutes
both east-west and north-south directions.

It would include several communities and modal connections across the region, rather than one
large urban hub like the port-based Asia-Pacific and Atlantic gateways. It would particularly
include the communities of Iqualuit, Churchill and Winnipeg that have multi-modal facilities, and
it would extend in its linkages with the other territories and provinces through air, rail and port
connections for both passengers and freight.

The Arctic Gateway would support the ongoing effort to expand the vital transportation links
with Russia to serve markets in the midwestern United States and into Mexico, as the Arctic
Bridge concepts of recent decades have envisioned.

The Arctic Gateway could provide the means to ensure the consideration of sustainable
development criteria in the establishment of a comprehensive transportation approach. It would
provide the opportunity to adapt the Arctic’s trade and transportation infrastructure as it is
being built and be ahead-of-the-curve as climate change is destroying many long-standing
assumptions about transportation limitations and options.

It would provide a focal point in a coordinating and supporting role for the many organizations,
programs, activities and efforts related to Arctic trade and transportation.

The “network” approach to Arctic Gateway governance and development, outlined in a recent
article by Lloyd Axworthy and Dan Hurley, suggests cooperative and consensus-based decision-
making. The networks they propose for Arctic issues, particularly those related to gateway
development, would be widely-inclusive governance regimes that would span national and
international boundaries and include the array of public and private sector interests.

The geopolitical conditions and community expectations that prevail in the Arctic and Northern
communities require adopting a different point of view about governance than the one that
prevailed in the establishment of the other national gateways. The network governance and
cooperative approach that could be considered for the Arctic Gateway would be in accord with
the prevailing ethic and decision-making processes of Arctic residents whose Nunavut
government operates on a consensus basis. The network approach’s emphasis on building
agreement on objectives and pooling resources on a coordinated basis is consistent with the
priority-setting that prevails in Northern communities.



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3. Canada’s Gateways

Canada has three major gateway initiatives that are nationally designated: Asia-Pacific, Atlantic,
and Ontario-Quebec Continental. Other gateways and corridors have also been proclaimed by
local and regional authorities or have been put into place at provincial, regional and municipal
levels, mainly related to the promotion of business for seaports and trans-shipment hubs.


3.1 Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor

The Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor is the most extensively developed and funded of the
three national gateways. It emerged in October 2005 and was declared in the federal
government’s Pacific Gateway Strategy, as it was then called. In announcing it, federal ministers
stated a spending commitment of up to $590 million for projects to improve transportation
infrastructure, border services, research and trade development with Asian countries.

Considerable additions were subsequently made to the initial spending commitments, and the
timing of the fiscal stimulus measures in 2009 expanded the extent of project funding related
to the Asia-Pacific Gateway to over one billion dollars. The Asia-Pacific Corridor and all other
federal government gateway initiatives were funded in their initial stages with resources
assembled from the several federal government departments and programs. Only more recently
was a distinct funding mechanism established.

The Asia-Pacific Gateway has been especially successful in capturing the imagination of
Canadians in relation to the growth and strong future prospects of North America’s trade with
Asian countries, particularly China. While the Province of British Columbia has pursued its own
Pacific Gateway and BC Ports strategies, it has done so in conjunction and close cooperation
with the federal government’s gateway work. The coordinated federal and provincial effort has
involved supply chain initiatives for Roberts Bank, Fraser Port, Vancouver Port, Prince Rupert
Port and Vancouver International Airport facilities. In contrast with the Atlantic Gateway
experience, the west coast transportation gateway has united its gateway supporters and
resources in a cohesive effort.

There was to have been a Pacific Gateway Council, along with advisory committees, formed
under the proposed legislation and supported by a secretariat based in Vancouver, but this
organizational arrangement did not proceed. Instead, the Greater Vancouver Gateway Council,
formed in 1994, remained the focal point for stakeholder involvement and participation in
advising governments on gateway-related policies and directions. The Council’s membership of
transportation executives is supplemented by provincial and national business community
representatives as well as designated government officials from Alberta, Saskatchewan and
Manitoba. This breadth of geographical and sector interests represented in the Council has
helped the Asia-Pacific Gateway to garner wide support by serving interests beyond the
boundaries of British Columbia.

An activity integral to the early development and growth of the Asia-Pacific Gateway was the
production of research studies and sponsorship of roundtables and conferences. Forty-two
research papers on a variety of transportation, logistics, intermodal, and trade issues were
commissioned under the Asia-Pacific Gateway initiative to enable informed, evidence-based
decisions about the gateway’s future. The forward-looking perspectives presented in the
research papers served as a basis for discussions at events in major Western Canadian urban
centres, and they were intended to promote understanding of the relevance and value of the
Asia-Pacific Gateway.

The driving forces and organizational bases for this gateway have been the Asia-Pacific
Foundation of Canada and Vancouver’s airport and port authorities. These organizations have

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been instrumental in leading the advocacy process for funding of projects related to the Asia-
Pacific Gateway. They have served as the operational hubs and organizational platforms
providing the tools and staff resources that have been necessary to make the Pacific Gateway’s
strategy a success.




3.2 Atlantic Gateway

Canada’s Atlantic Gateway was also announced in 2005 as a federal government initiative, with
the involvement of local leaders in the transportation and logistics sectors. This step reflected
the fact that, over many decades, Halifax established itself as the pre-eminent east coastal
transportation centre, and has served as the main hub for the port’s connections with rail, air
and road transportation.

The development of the national Atlantic Gateway has proceeded at a considerably slower pace
than its Asia-Pacific counterpart. In 2007, the four Atlantic provincial governments entered into
an agreement with the federal government to develop an Atlantic Gateway Strategy. The
subsequent creation of the Atlantic Gateway Advisory Council in September 2009 was meant to
deliver input on issues and investment priorities for related trade and transportation activities
and infrastructure.

During the same period other gateway organizations were being formed within the Atlantic
provinces to serve as advocates for their regional or port-related transportation facilities and
routes. One was the New Brunswick Gateway Council, comprised of several transportation
businesses and other stakeholders in trade, transportation and tourism in the province. Its
purpose is twofold: improving the competitiveness and efficiency of the transportation of goods
and people through New Brunswick as part of the Atlantic Gateway; and promoting the
province’s trade, tourism and transportation system. Based at the Saint John Port Authority, the
New Brunswick Gateway Council works towards collaboration and consolidation among shippers
and carriers, and cooperation to improve efficiency and reduce costs. The Council’s members
include a cross-section of major businesses and other organizations involved in manufacturing,
commodities, regional development, shipping logistics and business services.

Another gateway initiative was the establishment of the Nova Scotia Gateway Secretariat and
provincial government advisory council to develop a vision and strategy and provide leadership
and coordination. The new provincial government in 2009 proceeded with this Secretariat while
recognizing its apparent overlap with the federal and municipal gateway efforts.

Other gateway organizations in the Atlantic region have included the Sydney and Area Gateway
Council and Corner Brook Gateway Committee.

In addition, the Halifax Gateway Council, operating since 2004, involves businesses and
organizations that work collectively to improve the competitiveness and efficiency of goods and
passenger movements through the region. In January 2010, it issued a five-year strategic plan
with the intention of making Halifax the preferred eastern gateway for North America and the
world. While the Halifax transportation system emerged from its seaport roots, the Halifax
Gateway Council encompasses air, sea, road and rail modes and their connections. Its strategic
plan issued this year set out five overarching goals, including improvements in infrastructure
and brand marketing nationally and internationally.

Notably, one of the five goals in the strategic plan of the Halifax Gateway Council cited the need
for coordination among the myriad of gateway councils and organizations in Atlantic Canada.
The report pointed to the necessity for the federal government’s anticipated Atlantic Gateway

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Strategy document to be issued soon to set the stage for coordination of the region’s gateway
initiatives that seemed to have become more competitive than cooperative.


3.3 Ontario-Quebec Continental Gateway and Trade Corridor

Established in 2007, the Ontario-Quebec Continental Gateway and Trade Corridor is primarily
concerned with trade and transportation links with the United States through the rail and road
modes. It is described as encompassing a system of land, air and marine transportation assets,
including the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes. It includes an extensive transportation
infrastructure in the two provinces and four of Canada’s highest-volume border crossings.

This nationally-designated gateway has a large and elaborate governance structure involving
officials from the two provincial governments and Ottawa, as well as advisory roles for private
sector participants, mainly from the transportation and distribution sectors.

The Continental Gateway, as it has become more commonly known, appears to be government-
led to a greater extent than its Asia-Pacific and Atlantic counterparts. This may be the result of
having a geographically dispersed set of transportation routes, especially when contrasted with
the dominant roles of Vancouver and Halifax as the hubs in their gateways and corridors. The
variation in needs and conditions across the Ontario and Quebec transportation sectors may
have given cause for the provincial governments to take a particularly active role in this
gateway’s development. At the same time, private sector institutions, such as the Ontario
Chamber of Commerce, have come to see the importance of this gateway approach to build
transportation infrastructure and facilitate trade with the United States.

Due to be issued soon (Fall 2010) is the strategy paper that will present the vision, directions,
and anticipated actions of the Ontario, Quebec and federal governments for the Continental
Gateway.

Another gateway organization within the region with some overlapping interests and activities is
the Southern Ontario Gateway Council whose membership spans all modes and includes
transportation providers, shippers, industry associations and several levels of government. The
organization has representation with the Continental Gateway, and its attention is focussed on
four policy areas:

    •   Infrastructure and funding – solving the urban gridlock problem
    •   Integrated planning – improving land use policies to protect transportation routes
    •   Network efficiency – ensuring that the existing network is optimized
    •   Border security and safety – speeding the flow of goods through the NAFTA gateway in
        order to maintain the competitiveness of Ontario’s economy

The Continental Gateway’s gradual implementation and its imminent adoption of a strategic
plan seems to reflect the previous preoccupation of the federal government with NAFTA trade
and transportation links across all regions rather than those concentrated in Central Canada.
However, the successful launch of the coastal gateways and their potential to serve markets in
the United States on an increasingly cost-effective basis provided the impetus for the Ontario
and Quebec governments, along with the private sector, to press for their national gateway
entity.


3.4 National Gateways Program

The National Policy Framework for Strategic Gateways and Trade Corridors issued in 2007
includes a commitment for federal long-term funding for infrastructure projects. In conjunction

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with that Framework statement, Ottawa’s Gateways and Border Crossing Fund will provide
federal government investment of $2.1 billion over seven years.

The Framework document was meant to provide, albeit after the fact, the rationale for the
designation of the first three national gateways. It also served to set criteria that would halt
demands by the various local “gateway” organizations across Canada to be designated as
national gateways and, not surprisingly, qualify for funding similar to what the national
gateways were receiving.


The federal government’s Framework document stated criteria in five policy lenses:

        (1) International commerce strategy – strategies must help align Canada’s major
        transportation systems with our most important opportunities and challenges in global
        commerce.

        (2) Volume and values of national significance – strategies must have, at their core,
        systems of transportation infrastructure that carry nationally significant levels of trade.

        (3) Future patterns in global trade and transportation – strategies must be forward-
        looking, addressing major trends in international transportation. Long-term planning is
        essential, but must be based on empirical evidence and analysis, not just optimism.

        (4) Potential scope of capacity and policy measures – strategies should go beyond
        infrastructure systems to address interconnected issues that directly impact how well the
        system works and how well Canada takes advantage of it.

        (5) Federal role and effective partnerships – strategies must ground federal actions in
        concrete federal responsibilities and effective partnerships with other governments and
        the private sector.

The National Policy Framework acknowledges that there are variations among the national
corridors and also points out that there are convergence opportunities. It attempts (and has
succeeded to a considerable extent) to establish a degree of rigour to the processes of both
identifying criteria for national gateways and allocating federal government resources to
gateway-related projects. At the same time, it could be said that a rigorous application of the
criteria would have made the qualification of all three gateways questionable in some respects,
particularly in terms of the potential scope of capacity and policy measures and the extent of
the federal role.

Based on the criteria of this national policy lens, an Arctic Gateway would qualify in all respects.
While the current volume of transportation activity is small compared to the established eastern
and western coastal ports and the surface transportation systems of Central Canada, an Arctic
Gateway would be ranked particularly high in terms of:

    •   its strategic importance related to reinforcing Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic,
    •   responding to trends in global commerce that make Arctic shipping competitive,
    •   jurisdictional responsibilities of the federal government in the Arctic,
    •   future high traffic volume prospects and scope for tangible rapid growth, and
    •   supportive partnerships of governments, communities and the private sector wanting the
        mechanism to work together for sustainable Arctic development.


3.5 Lessons for the Arctic Gateway


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For the purpose of considering the formation of an Arctic Gateway strategy and organizational
structure, it is useful to look at the lessons that could be derived from the experience of the
three national gateways and the federal government framework that supports them.

Leadership: The three gateways have shared the commonality of private sector and federal
political leadership in their formation and initial activities. The widespread and non-partisan
political support for the gateways, particularly Asia-Pacific, has enabled them to draw
endorsements and financial resources for their initial strategy development and begin to obtain
significant levels of project-related funding. An Arctic Gateway appears to have similar initial
widespread non-partisan public support and strong prospects for endorsements from federal,
provincial and territorial governments as well as international institutions.

Structure: The national gateways have adopted different organizational forms, but have all
relied upon existing supporting structures and institutions, such as the Asia-Pacific Foundation
of Canada and the port and airport authorities of major cities, to drive their adoption. Rather
than creating new entities, the gateways have generally been able to affiliate with existing
business and transportation sector organizations that were already capable of providing
leadership, management, administrative support, organizational platforms and staff resources
for their work. Finding or creating the appropriate organization to serve in this vital role in at
least the initial stages of the Arctic Gateway’s development is a challenge when no existing
business or not-for-profit entity is immediately identifiable.

Hub: The two coastal gateways have had a clear geographic focus on their port connections in
the urban centres of Vancouver and Halifax. The Continental Gateway has Toronto and Montreal
as its dual multi-modal transportation hubs. An Arctic Gateway lacks a single urban focal point,
although Churchill would have a central transportation role and Winnipeg would serve as the
most obvious multi-modal population centre with advanced infrastructure. This geographical
uniqueness, compared to the other national gateways, requires the development of a
cooperative infrastructure strategy at an international level, in addition to agreement among the
federal, provincial and territorial governments, in order to build an economically sustainable
Arctic Gateway.

Private sector: All three national gateways have, from their beginnings, been driven by the
involvement of transportation companies, shippers and logistics firms active in the region. The
enlistment of the business community across the geographic swath of the Arctic gateway would
be a necessary component for success. Close working relationships across the public and
private sectors based on the adaptation of network-like governance arrangements has proven to
be highly beneficial, particularly for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. At the same time, the Arctic
Gateway would require more inclusive participation, especially by indigenous communities and
organizations, than the other gateways that have been inordinately influenced by transportation
sector participants.

Stage of Development: Each of the gateways is at a different phase, including their extent of
development, infrastructure, traffic composition and volumes. The Arctic Gateway is at a far
earlier stage than the other three, but has the prospect of much more rapid growth than the
others, due in part to the increasing interest of the international community and rapid changes
in the Arctic’s climate. The lesson in this instance should be that the Arctic Gateway will need
investment to have facilities in place to satisfy future demand, and that a rigorous identification
of real growth potential must be part of the strategy development for the national Arctic
Gateway.

Infrastructure: The three national gateways all had existing and advanced infrastructure of
ports, roads, railways and distribution systems. The infrastructure projects introduced under the
national gateway programs have provided incremental improvements to that existing capacity
and helped to eliminate bottlenecks. Within Manitoba, CentrePort Canada is becoming

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instrumental in leading the development of distribution and transportation infrastructure to
support the Asia-Pacific Gateway and mid-continent corridor, with the support of the Province of
Manitoba and Government of Canada. The Arctic Gateway would require investment in entirely
new infrastructure in many instances, especially in the northern regions. It would call for the
establishment of transportation and distribution centres, in addition to adding capacity to
underutilized systems, such as the Port of Churchill. The forms of infrastructure would also
differ, such as the need for icebreaking capacity in addition to the road and rail expansion that
has been emphasized in the other national gateway investment.

Human Resources: The array of experienced personnel and skills required to work in the
existing national gateways is readily available in urban Canada, but not to the same extent in
the Arctic and northern regions. The human resource development needed for modern
transportation and international trade organizations in the Arctic would be a parallel
requirement for the establishment of an effective Arctic Gateway. This educational and training
regime for indigenous peoples could also contribute significantly to overcoming the social and
income inequities that have been evident in many northern communities.

Competition: The three nationally designated gateways see themselves as being in direct
competition with US ports and transportation systems, and much of their effort is directed
towards building efficiencies and seamless transportation connections to enable them to attract
new business. The enormous potential for shipping cost advantages related to an Arctic
Gateway would not make it a competitor of Canada’s coastal gateways. In fact, it could help the
other national gateways become even more attractive and cost-effective for international
shipping by shifting ocean transportation away from the Panama Canal and southern US ports
and into the northern hemisphere and Canadian ports. The Arctic Gateway strategy should
identify the ways in which its development would particularly enhance the competitive position
of both its Asia-Pacific and Atlantic gateway counterparts.

Sustainable Development: Environmental impact and sustainable development are matters
given relatively little attention by the initial three national gateways. Environmental issues have
not received more than lip-service in the funding and investments related to the national
gateways. By contrast, the issues of environmental sustainability must be front-and-centre for
the Arctic Gateway. The need to have an Arctic Gateway that adheres to the strictest
sustainability criteria and accounts for the environmental fragility of the North is far more
compelling than it has been for the urban areas of Canada served by the existing national
gateways.

Indigenous Issues: Few matters related to Canada’s indigenous population or communities
arose in the process of establishing the first three national gateways. By contrast, the Arctic
Gateway would need to serve the interests and values of Northerners and indigenous peoples as
a priority. The development of an Arctic Gateway strategy would need to fully involve indigenous
community considerations in ways not anticipated or experienced by the other national
gateways. The arrangements to establish shared governance and consensus decision-making
among all northern stakeholders, including indigenous communities, are challenges not
previously addressed in national gateway strategy-setting.

Measurement Criteria: The three gateways have all used economic analysis to justify their
establishment and to measure their impact and future potential. By contrast, an Arctic Gateway
would, at least in its initial phase, have a smaller economic impact or net contribution. With its
need for new infrastructure and time to build its business activity, it could have a longer
payback period for investments than the existing national gateways that have had extensive
capabilities. It would be crucial for the Arctic Gateway strategy to avoid suggesting a build-it-
and-they-will-come approach. It should, instead, focus on the ways in which it will serve a cost-
effective combination of economic, security and national purposes.


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Strategic Position: Unlike its counterparts, the Arctic Gateway could serve an exceptionally
valuable political role in reinforcing Canada’s international strategies and goals. The new
alignment in the world’s shipping routes would make the Arctic Gateway strategy all the more
important for Canada’s future. The Arctic Gateway could become a lynchpin of Canada’s
international policy. The sovereignty claims of Canada in the Arctic could be more effectively
reinforced through the national Arctic Gateway structure and activities.


4. Arctic Gateway-Related Initiatives

The creation of the Arctic Gateway would not take place in isolation. Several organizations,
government policies and programs, studies, and advisory groups have already been involved in
inspiring and introducing elements of an Arctic Gateway.

The creation of an Arctic Gateway should reinforce the work and initiatives of the past and
complement those that are already underway. It should not overshadow or subsume them in any
way. It should build on the ideas and experience of the many Canadians and institutions
dedicated to advancing the interests of the Arctic. The consensus and cooperation have been
significant driving forces for developing Canada’s gateways are all the more important for an
Arctic Gateway.

The following references to various initiatives and organizations are meant to provide a
perspective on what constitutes the important groundwork for creating an Arctic Gateway.
These are not meant to be all-inclusive references. They are intended to provide specific
citations in some instances and examples in others, and they undoubtedly overlook some
valuable contributions. The references are included here to provide a perspective on the
initiatives and existing efforts that an Arctic Gateway should build upon and accommodate.


4.1 Advisory Reports

Some crucial advisory reports have served as guidance for new Arctic transportation policies and
have acted as precursors of an Arctic Gateway. While many were in reference to trade corridors,
they dealt with the same goals and issues as those now considered to be gateway topics. These
reports continue to serve as noteworthy information sources and explanations of the underlying
basis for an Arctic Gateway.

The August 1998 report of the Mid-Continent International Trade Task Force was among the
first to present the notion of building a comprehensive policy basis to prepare for the emerging
Arctic transportation opportunities. This federal government task force of western and northern
stakeholders, chaired by Manitoba community leader Graham Dixon, presented a series of
recommendations for the formation of a Mid-Continent International Trade Corridor initiative.
The task force report suggested a corridor development strategy that dealt with issues in four
categories: harmonization, infrastructure and investment, education and training, and
innovation.

The Mid-Continent International Trade and Transportation Corridor emerged as a concept to
advance economic development across the centre of the North American continent. Its rationale
was to pursue the notion of pan-regional international trade and transportation systems linking
northern Manitoba and other Canadian prairie and Arctic regions with the United States and
Mexico.

The concept took hold as an opportunity to build on the North American Free Trade Agreement
to facilitate cross-border movements and remove the impediments that had inhibited north-
south transportation and business activity. It recognized the need to have better border-

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crossing arrangements, but also to have seamless transportation connections in all of the
modes across the heartland of the continent. The crucial role of infrastructure was highlighted,
including the value of inland multimodal port facilities in the corridor. It explained that the
“...creation of a central container port in Winnipeg appears to be an essential ingredient in any
plan for the long-term viability of the city as an efficient gateway”. The recent establishment of
CentrePort Canada is contributing significantly to fulfill this long-standing objective.

One of the main recommendations of this task force was for governments and other
stakeholders to establish a new organization -- an entity to take a hands-on implementing role.
It suggested that what was needed was:
        “... a way to mobilize the involvement of the private sector manufacturers, shippers and
       investors in this economic region and build on the solid base already established by
       political and government leaders. It requires a concerted, organized effort by a unit that
       can act decisively to execute the business projects needed to carry forward the Mid-
       Continent International Trade Corridor.”

The report emphasized the need for an organization and leadership to facilitate business and
trade activities for the tangible development of northern gateway and corridor activity.

Another important source of advice with direct relevance to the Arctic Gateway was the Green
Corridors report in November 1999 that emphasized the sustainable development opportunities
for the transportation system and infrastructure from the Arctic through central Canada and the
Midwestern United States into Mexico. The building of environmentally sustainable
transportation, trade links and tourism expansion was highlighted. The opportunities for
ecotourism, particularly crucial for Arctic regions, were explained in relation to the
transportation systems that would be required for more reliable and less costly freight and
passenger transportation. The report cited the value of adopting network solutions, drawing
together stakeholders, researchers and governments through innovative arrangements and
cooperative projects to advance the research and policy development for gateways and
corridors.


4.2 Research Relevant to an Arctic Gateway

Canada has been a significant contributor to international Arctic research, having played a major
funding role to support the International Polar Year. An example of this commitment and
delivery of support was shown in the Circumpolar Flaw Lead System Study led by a Canadian
scientist and involving 300 scientists from sixteen countries and including 40 faculty members,
research associates graduate students, technicians and support staff from the University of
Manitoba. In addition, the upcoming 6th annual Supply Chain Connections Conference, hosted by
the University of Manitoba, is looking at transportation requirements and alternatives for
moving people and goods to and from the North. Air, rail, road and water transportation are all
involved in meeting the needs of northern communities and shippers, including the retail and
resource sectors.

The Hudson Bay Ecosystem research projects and the work of the scientific projects based at the
Churchill Northern Studies Centre are further demonstrations of valuable and timely studies,
some of which could be relevant to the Arctic Gateway. There has been considerable new federal
government research funding assigned to these initiatives, and strong research capacity and
expertise in several fields to do more.

While Canadian universities and other research institutions have had long-standing programs
across an array of academic disciplines to investigate Arctic-themed topics, relatively little
appears to have been done or is in progress to address the primary questions that are of
immediate relevance to an Arctic Gateway. For example, the potential consequences of climate

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change, specifically on shipping patterns, have attracted relatively little academic analysis or
measurement. It is widely understood that there is a tremendous transportation opportunity
related to changing ice conditions, and there have been research efforts by the Arctic Council
and its Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment Working Group led by Canada, the United
States and Finland. Still, relatively little rigorous study has been undertaken to assess the
potential transportation and trade consequences and prospects for Canada.

A multidisciplinary research and knowledge-exchange program could have immediate value by
applying the gateway lens to the perspective of Arctic research programs. While the existing
Arctic research effort is yielding valuable general information, it could also contribute more to
the understanding and knowledge base necessary for the establishment of sustainability for the
Arctic Gateway.


4.3 Territorial and Provincial Initiatives

Mentioned earlier were the transportation planning reports and policy positions adopted by
Nunavut and other territorial governments. They contain references to the North being the
gateway to Europe and Asia and emphasize the importance of investing in the transportation
infrastructure that is necessary to take advantage of the emerging trade opportunities. They
point out that transportation infrastructure is the key to safety, security and sovereignty in the
North, including the role of northern airports serving in refuelling and emergency capacities.
They emphasize the connections with southern regions of Canada in the establishment of polar
shipping and air routes.

The Nunavut Transportation Strategy document makes reference to Nunavut’s connections to
trade corridors and new international trade activity. It points out the benefits of international air
traffic through polar routes, as well as the potential impact of a Manitoba/Nunavut highway. The
crucial role of federal funding to connect Nunavut with the rest of Canada is a consistent theme,
including the provision of search and rescue response capability and environmental crisis
responses.

The Province of Manitoba has taken an array of measures that help set the stage for an Arctic
Gateway. It has initiated several programs in trade and transportation to build north-south
connections and reinforce the strong tradition of Winnipeg in serving Arctic communities.

Among the Manitoba government programs is the Arctic Bridge initiative that has worked to
encourage trade with Russia and other northern European countries interested in connecting
with markets in the central region of the United States. The concept of the Arctic Bridge
connecting the Port of Murmansk, Russia to Monterey, Mexico has been to attract freight
through the Port of Churchill.

Another recent Manitoba government initiative was the establishment in 2007 of the Manitoba
International Gateway Council to help take advantage of emerging opportunities such as new
polar air routes and traffic flows from Asia. Part of its rationale is to help improve the
transportation and logistics services that can provide less costly and more efficient freight into
Arctic communities. The Council’s membership includes leaders from across the transportation
and shipper communities, and is an integral part of the province’s Manitoba International
Gateway Strategy unveiled in late 2005. That strategy document states the purpose “...to seize
on emerging opportunities from global supply chain trends, such as burgeoning polar air routes
and heightened container traffic flows from Asia.” From Manitoba’s perspective, its position in
the geographic centre of Canada enables crucial roles for both the Asia-Pacific Gateway and the
Arctic Gateway.



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Other Manitoba initiatives through programs such as the International Mid-Continent Trade and
Transportation Corridor have created the groundwork for greater integration that includes Arctic
transportation and strengthens its freight, passenger and tourism links across Canada and
North America.


4.4 Federal Arctic Initiatives

The Government of Canada has the primary role and jurisdictional responsibility in many of the
crucial Arctic Gateway issues. For the Arctic, that federal government accountability spans the
key issues of environmental protection, international trade, transport regulation, economic
development and public services, including transportation infrastructure and its fiduciary
obligations to First Nations based on numbered treaties with First Nations. The Government of
Canada has been fulfilling its Arctic responsibilities that have relevance to the Arctic Gateway in
a full range of programs and policies.

The federal government’s Northern Strategy presents four priorities, all of which would be
reinforced by the adoption of a national Arctic Gateway. That document presents the vision of
an integrated strategy that involves: exercising Canada’s Arctic sovereignty; promoting social
and economic development; protecting environmental heritage; and improving and devolving
northern governance. The formation of the Arctic Gateway strategy would support these
objectives and give them a tangible basis for implementation.

Reinforcing the other federal documents and position papers on the Arctic is the Statement on
Canada’s Arctic Foreign Policy: Exercising Sovereignty and Promoting Canada’s Northern
Strategy, issued in August 2010. In it, the Minister of Foreign Affairs explained Ottawa’s
determination to demonstrate international leadership on matters sustainable resource
development and responsible stewardship in its Arctic foreign policy.

The 2009 Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment report provided further detailed analysis of
emerging shipping conditions and crucial safety and environmental considerations, as well as
encouraging the adoption of measures to engage northern residents and communities in new
governance arrangements.

An example of one of the several recent federal government initiatives for the North is the new
Nutrition North Canada program that provides subsidies to improve access to healthy food to
Arctic and northern residents. It includes new distribution arrangements that will reinforce the
transportation links with Canadian urban centres and establish a more integrated and cost-
effective supply chain for the benefit of Arctic communities.

Another example is the set of measures being taken by the federal government related to
sovereignty to protect Canadian waters and airspace, as well as to monitor commercial shipping.
The expansion of Canadian defence and sovereignty protection measures has become
particularly important with the trend towards greater transportation activity and the potential for
more viable resource extraction projects.

The federal government plays a major role in protecting the natural environment of the Arctic.
For instance, the potential pollution of sensitive Arctic waters has been on the federal
government agenda for many decades, and its authority can be exercised through the Arctic
Waters Pollution Prevention Act.

While Ottawa has devolved some of its powers and responsibilities to the territorial Government
of Nunavut, it remains the driver and investor for most of the commercial activity, social
development and economic base for the territory.


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Through its membership in the Arctic Council, Canada works with other northern nations to deal
matters of common concern. The eight Arctic Council countries -- Canada, Russia, Norway,
Denmark, Iceland, United States, Sweden, and Finland -- formed their organization in the Ottawa
Declaration in 1996 to provide a forum for cooperation. With involvement by Arctic indigenous
communities and other Arctic inhabitants, the Council has a particular emphasis on sustainable
development and environmental protection.

The federal government is signatory to the Law of the Sea that defines the rights and
responsibilities of nations in their use of the world’s oceans. It establishes guidelines for
businesses and governments in their policies on the environment and the management of
marine natural resources. In the rapidly melting Arctic, this legal framework is becoming
extremely important as countries stake claims to Arctic resources and insist on unfettered
passage through Canadian waters.

Through an Arctic Gateway structure, the federal government could enhance its ability to be an
environmental guardian and knowledge broker for Arctic waters. This could involve the ability to
save or salvage damaged vessels, and strengthen its capacity to enforce environmental
regulatory regimes that would prevent disasters like the oil spill this year in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Canadian government’s position that its Arctic waters are international, but under the
sovereign control of Canada, requires monitoring and regulatory enforcement capability.

The federal government’s Arctic activities and programs are largely encompassed in a policy
issued in July 2009. The policy paper entitled Canada’s Northern Strategy: Our North, Our
Heritage, Our Future explains the many initiatives that are underway to benefit the North across
the breadth of programs and government services. Among those are the procurement of Arctic
patrol ships and a new icebreaker, upgrading of research facilities, and economic development
investments. It also noted the establishment of the new federal agency to promote Arctic
economic development. That agency is tasked with making strategic investments in support of
business project, as well as public infrastructure for northern communities.


4.5 Regional Gateways

Some initiatives that are necessary precursors to the Arctic Gateway are already underway. Some
efforts and organizations are in place to address aspects of the challenges that are anticipated
on a wider scale for the national Arctic Gateway.

International trade-related initiatives already include aspects and activities of gateway
organizations, mainly related to the linking across the northern and central North American
region from Churchill and the northern prairies with central US states and regions of northern
Mexico. Some of these initiatives emerged primarily as responses to the North American Free
Trade Agreement. The Manitoba International Gateway Strategy, mentioned earlier, is one
government-managed initiative already well underway.

North America’s SuperCorridor Coalition is a high-profile tri-national corridor and gateway
organization spanning Manitoba and Ontario, several Midwestern US states, and the north-
eastern and central regions of Mexico. Based in Dallas, Texas, it has a focus on transportation
systems of north-south interstate highways and rail systems. It is significantly involved in
advocacy for transportation and logistics infrastructure, including the Port of Churchill and
inland port intermodal facilities.

The Churchill Gateway Development Corporation is a public-private partnership marketing the
Port of Churchill and its rail system. Created in 2003, it assumed several of the functions of the
Gateway North Marketing Agency that had been established six years earlier by Manitoba’s


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federal minister Lloyd Axworthy with the primary purpose of expanding prairie wheat shipments
and diversifying traffic through the northern Manitoba rail and port system.

Twenty years ago, Churchill had been written off by some federal government officials who
could not understand its long-term potential and strategic value. Attempts were made to shut
the northern Manitoba rail route and cease grain shipments through the port, in an effort to
eliminate transportation subsidies. Through the efforts of northern residents and Ottawa’s
willingness to accommodate new concepts for the rail line and port, the transportation system
was privatized. The subsequent transformation of the rail line and port into an integrated
system and its expansion of traffic volumes and commodity types have proven to be a far-
sighted strategy with increasingly obvious benefits to northerners and commodity shippers.

The board of directors of the Churchill Gateway Development Corporation includes
representation of government and business leaders, as well as transportation and logistics
experts. Included in the board is the owner/operator of the port and rail facilities, OmniTRAX
Canada Inc. The private ownership of both the port and the Hudson Bay Railway Company make
the Port of Churchill unique among the major commodity-handling facilities in Canada. While
Vancouver and Halifax operate under port authority models with public ownership, the Port of
Churchill had been transformed from a government-operated facility of the Canada Ports
Corporation into an integrated privately-operated organizational form.

A major thrust of the Churchill Gateway Development Corporation has been to diversify the
traffic through the port to include handling of other commodities and cargo. This includes
container shipments of specialized crops and fuel. The consequent emphasis has been on
building two-way movement of cargo by attracting imported goods through Churchill.

In many respects, the CentrePort Canada initiative, launched in 2009 and supported by both the
Manitoba and federal governments, could serve an important role within the Arctic Gateway
stratgey. CentrePort Canada is the inland port and international trade area serving as a hub for
Arctic Bridge, mid-continent corridor, and other trade and transportation measures. Among its
several initiatives, CentrePort Canada is an enabler of the air freight connection across the Arctic
between Canada and Russia.

CentrePort Canada constitutes an innovative way to build north-south transportation links that
can help draw the Arctic more closely together with other areas of Canada, including the
national gateways. As a crucial link in the chain of institutions and programs that will help to
support an effective Arctic Gateway structure, CentrePort Canada could play a vital role in
conjunction with government agencies and companies such as OmniTRAX Canada Inc. in the
new Arctic Gateway.


5. Strategic Direction

The primary question about designating a national Arctic Gateway for Canada is no longer about
whether it is a good idea, or whether it should be pursued. Its qualification within the national
gateway framework is obvious, and its value for Canada’s sovereignty and sustainability are
tangible. The relevant questions now are about how to proceed to make it a reality.

The establishment of the Arctic Gateway is needed as a new facet of the emerging long-term
northern development strategy for Canada. The investments in northern transportation
infrastructure and the careful development of international Arctic shipping and economic
activity now within the gateway framework will have significant paybacks for Canada in the
immediate future and in decades to come.



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A recent article by Peter Avis in the Canadian Military Journal regarding gateways and national
security contains useful insights, including his view that:

        Three strategic gateway and corridor initiatives have been identified… A fourth initiative
        may be possible as the northern climate changes over time: an Arctic Gateway and
        Corridor system that would use rail, sea and air to handle cargo flows between Asia,
        North America and Europe.

Avis went on to point out:

        While security of the supply chain is a significant feature… the gateway and corridor
        approach (national policy framework) is also about linking policy and physical
        infrastructure together with relationships that transcend traditional institutional
        boundaries (i.e. public/private, federal/provincial/municipal).

A further point by Peter Avis was that the international security and sovereignty issues that are
associated with Canada’s transportation gateways make it all the more important for them to
develop with an emphasis on their role in relation to national defence, sovereignty protection
and environmental integrity. From that security perspective, the Arctic Gateway holds the
prospect of becoming the most crucial and valuable of all the national gateways in terms of
protecting Canada’s national interests and enhancing its sovereignty position.

The designation of the national Arctic Gateway would complete the national gateway family for
Canada by enabling the North to participate with its western, eastern and southern
counterparts. It would contribute to the development of the other gateways by helping re-orient
shipping through the Arctic to Canada’s Asia-Pacific and Atlantic ports. The Arctic Gateway
would provide tangible recognition of the importance of Canada’s North and set the stage for
the inevitable future of the Arctic as a major international transportation route.

In retrospect, it was an understandable but unfortunate oversight that the federal government’s
national gateway policy and framework did not anticipate the designation of a national Arctic
Gateway. By focussing on the expansion of historical business trends and existing facilities in
ports, transportation and international trade, the national gateway policy framework did not, at
its initial stage, account for the extraordinary changes that are making the Arctic a viable and
valuable national gateway.

Two important points should be kept in mind in terms of immediate decisions related to
establishing an Arctic Gateway strategy.

    •   The first is to acknowledge the Arctic Gateway as one of national and international
        importance, not simply a regional initiative. It must become the fourth designated
        national gateway to complete the balance among Canada’s most important strategic
        trade and transportation initiatives.

    •   The second is to proceed now with the federal government designating the national
        Arctic Gateway and starting the process to develop the detailed Arctic Gateway strategy
        document to guide its future direction.

It is useful to recall that the Asia-Pacific and Atlantic gateways were established in advance of
the national policy framework and the subsequent creation of the strategic plans for those
gateways. The fundamental policy decisions to designate an Arctic Gateway could readily
proceed immediately, without the need for operational details to be established in advance.

The designation of a federal Arctic Gateway within the federal gateway framework and the
subsequent development of a detailed, consensus-based Arctic Gateway strategy document are

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essential steps that would replicate the implementation procedures adopted for the other three
national gateways.




        Disclaimer: Please note that the views expressed throughout this discussion
        paper are exclusively those of the author. They are put forward to encourage
        debate and constructive dialogue. They do not represent opinions or
        perspectives other than those of the researchers and policy specialists of
        the discussion paper’s author, PPM Public Policy Management Limited.




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