By Andrew Macdonald
The Port of Halifax is worried its international shipping reputation could be damaged because of blockades of CN Rail’s tracks in Ontario.
Lane Farguson, spokesman for the local port authority which oversees the two container terminal operations in Halifax Harbour, warns an inability to move cargo will see shipping lines divert to competing ports such as New York, perhaps permanently.
“Once cargo routes are altered, it is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to restore them,” Farguson tells The Notebook.
The blockades on the main CN Rail line are a show of solidarity for the Wet’suwet’en First Nation, whose hereditary chiefs oppose the construction of a 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline through northern British Columbia.
Halifax’s port is seen as a ‘discretionary port’ because it has a smaller population catchment area than ports in New York and Montreal, both of which are closer to consumers.