+ 1.3 billion $in annual economic benefits
+ 13,000Canadian jobs generated by Québec City’s maritime hub
1,316 shipsper year that anchor at one of our 14 port terminals
15-metrewater depth at low tide to accommodate large vessels
The mission of the Québec Port Authority is to promote and develop maritime trade, to serve the economic interests of the Québec City region and Canada, and to ensure the Port of Québec’s profitability in a way that respects both the community and the environment.
If it is true, as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry put it, that self-discovery comes when man measures himself against an obstacle, it is certainly also true for organizations. And, over the past year, in the aftermath of the pandemic and the challenges related to global supply chains, the Québec Port Authority (QPA) has proven its deep commitment, resilience, and ability to bounce back. I am therefore pleased, as Chair of the Board of Directors, to present to you this review of the year 2021.
Again this year, the Board of Directors armed the Port with the necessary oversight and strategic attention to help the organization accomplish its mission. Each member of the Board of Directors is proud to work not only with the Québec Port Authority, but also with Québec City’s maritime community in a way that helps it attain its objectives in the interests of all Quebeckers and Canadians.
And more than ever, we have been able to see the strategic importance of a port, and the direct and concrete results of the actions it takes to meet the needs of our country, its people, and its economy.
To this end, the professionalism, determination, and dedication that so many people have shown to keep the supply chain running have undoubtedly been fundamental in the context of the past year. Here I am referring to maritime carriers and pilots, longshoremen, terminal operators, railroad workers, trucking companies and truck drivers, as well as the many other people who make up the Port community. They were the ones who ensured the efficient flow of goods in a context where everything was made more difficult.
This great collective effort allowed the tonnage of goods handled at the port to resume an upward curve after the shock of the pandemic in 2020.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank all of our skilled workers for these exceptional results, achieved during an exceptional period. Thanks also go to Mario Girard, his management team and all of the QPA’s employees, who have worked so hard and dedicated themselves to managing the COVID crisis, while keeping the focus on a vision of development.
In keeping with this exemplary collaboration, I wish to continue working with the members of the Board of Directors to support the Port Authority in its evolution and help it further strengthen its ties with the maritime and port community.
There is enormous benefit in uniting our voice to fulfil the Port of Québec’s full potential, so that it not only remains a key player in the business communities of the regions it serves, but also to make known and recognize that is it a bold organization with a wide range of expertise, many areas of excellence and, above all, immeasurable connections to citizens.
Because even if the Laurentia project does not move forward, the Port’s transformative leadership remains. Already, in hindsight, what we learned in 2021 offered the Québec Port Authority with a window to the future. Strategic planning is already well underway.
Our vision for the future is also closely linked to our commitment to responsible and sustainable development that meets the highest possible standards. In 2021, this dedication to the cause manifested itself with the attainment the highest level for each of the indicators of the Green Marine certification for the fourth consecutive year. The establishment of different channels for communication with citizens also reflects the Port’s clear intention to act with respect for the environment and its surrounding communities.
I would also like to acknowledge the Port’s important contribution to the vitality of Québec City. The Port has completed the construction of a new cruise ship terminal to accommodate more ships and visitors. The site also hosted a vaccination centre to serve citizens in Québec City’s centre during the pandemic, in addition to the many activities on the Port lands and the high traffic at the marina and Beauport Bay. The Port is proud to contribute positively to the region and the lives of the people of Québec City.
To summarize 2021, the QPA showed strength and agility in carrying out its mandates on a daily basis, often in unfavourable conditions, as well as its ability to inject energy into port development, which will continue to take shape through the collaboration of all stakeholders.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate my appreciation and confidence in Mario Girard and the entire QPA team, and I welcome the essential contribution of all Port partners. I would also like to thank my colleagues on the Board for their rigour and sincere commitment to the organization’s mission.
Chair of the Board of Directors
Québec Port Authority
The last two years have shown how fragile the things that we take for granted can be. This means not only health care, but also the ability to access the often-essential products we need, whenever we need them.
The pandemic generated significant disruptions in supply chains around the world, with consequences we now know well: empty shelves, dramatic price increases, and an impact on the lives of all.
We have collectively recognized the importance of each link in the supply chain. We now know more than ever that an efficient port occupies a critical place in it.
The Port of Quebec, the last deep-water port in the St. Lawrence/Great Lakes corridor, is the hub for bulk imports and exports in the eastern part of the country. Following the direct repercussions of COVID that we experienced in 2020, 2021 was all about recovery. The Port of Québec has undoubtedly played a key role in meeting the demand for certain raw materials and commodities for the many industries that we serve.
The public is often unaware that bulk cargo makes up a large number of consumer products, compared to containerized goods. Yet, transshipments to the Port of Québec’s different terminals is part of the daily life of thousands of people and is what allows us to meet a large number of our daily needs.
This is the case for raw sugar, salt, gasoline, cereals, and other products that are regularly consumed. Fertilizer also falls into this category, allowing local farmers to grow their grains, vegetables, and fruits, and to provide food for their livestock. Some specialized alloy-based surgical instruments, our cell phones, certain pharmaceuticals, as well as electric vehicle batteries use nickel which is transshipped here in Québec City. Transitioning to a greener, decarbonized economy will require that these types of strategically important minerals pass through the Port of Québec.
Of course, the vital nature of this supply chain does not relieve us of our responsibilities, including the obligation to ensure that our users exhibit exemplary practices and that they comply with the highest standards in the field. I know that I can count on the entire Port ecosystem to continue working in this direction.
Moreover, it is always important to remember that maritime transport accounts for about 85% of world trade, whereas it generates just under 3% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.1
Not only is a port a pillar of foreign trade, but it is also a strategic tool for the future development of international trade in an economic context that aims to decarbonize the economy.
1 The International Maritime Organization has published the 4th edition of its inventory of global Greenhouse Gas Study on emissions from shipping. Maritime transport accounted for 2.89% of the world's total anthropogenic CO2 emissions in 2018.
As an essential link in Québec’s supply chain and economy, the Port of Québec draws strength from the confidence citizens have in the organization.
What matters is no longer just what we do, but also how we do it.
In 2021, the federal government’s refusal to proceed with the Laurentia project certainly disappointed us, but we are now looking at the future with confidence and enthusiasm. Even if the outlook is yet unknown, we already know that the future that lies ahead will take into account the need for greener and high-tech terminals, the need to make our supply chains more sustainable and resilient, and Québec City’s increasing importance on transatlantic trade routes.
We know above all that our future projects must ensure a sense of coherence in the relationships we have with our neighbours, our city, and our partners. This is at the very heart of the key strategic orientations we are working on for 2022 to 2027, which we will be sharing with you in the coming year.
For instance, we want to continue on the same trajectory that we been on for a considerable amount of time now, and that aims not only to limit conflicts of use in a heritage city like Québec City, but also to occupy a growing place in the sustainable economy. This is a leadership that the Port of Québec intends to continue to assert in 2022. This important orientation touches on all aspects of our activities and is shared by our partner operators. Indeed, the activities carried out in the last year have confirmed this.
In particular, we have adopted a road map that will guide us toward ensuring that our activities are carbon-neutral. We have also worked with our operators and citizen groups to reduce noise in the Anse au Foulon port sector. We conducted analyses to make Louise Basin accessible for swimming and removed nearly a tonne of scrap from the Beauport Bay aquatic environment.
In December, we launched the EcoCargo program to encourage our partners’ efforts to green supply chains. The program offers ship owners with environmentally responsible practices a substantial tariff incentive on port fees.
We also continued to make progress with respect to the 2030 Agenda of the Worldwide Network of Port Cities (Association Internationale Villes et Ports–AIVP), which adopted the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals for ports and port cities. We not only collaborated on the agenda, but we also signed a charter in Riga in 2019. My involvement in the AIVP shows how ports are changing around the world and how they are powerful solutions for tomorrow’s economy.
In short, there will be much talk about environmental and sustainable development initiatives in the coming years. This is a priority, as are relationships with our partners, the community, and the various economic stakeholders.
No one is an island, and our organization is even less so. Located in the heart of a heritage city, the Port of Québec is both an economic hub and intimately linked to life in Québec City and its communities through its parks, public spaces, and the atmosphere that will reign in the city when cruise ships return.
The year 2021 was also very active in terms of infrastructure investment. Several restoration projects were carried out. Just in the last year, we have repaired and stabilized easternmost wharves in the Anse au Foulon, Louise Basin, and Beauport sectors.
Since 2018, the Port and its operators have invested nearly $300 million in infrastructure. Other work will be carried out over the next few years, notably for the reconstruction of some facilities that are more than 100 years old.
To support this major upgrading project, the Québec government confirmed $10.7 million in restoration investments in 2021. Since 2018, nearly $51 million has been committed by all three levels of government. These inputs have a large multiplier effect. They help to restore more of the Port’s heritage while generating further investment by port operators.
The Port’s foundations are also deeply embedded in each person who allows it to distinguish and surpass itself.
I would like to thank the members of the Board of Directors for their commitment to the Port of Québec and their dedication to advancing our great organization. To my management team and all our employees, who ensure the smooth running of our activities, thank you for your dedication and excellence in your work.
My recognition also goes to our operators for their trust and collaboration, as well as our partners in the maritime sector and the business community who, like us, are committed to innovating and setting our region apart from other great cities around the world.
Finally, I would like to thank the people of Québec who take the time to communicate with us and help construct a positive dialogue between the Port and the community. This dialogue is essential and we sincerely wish to continue to make progress as strong voice for residents and the Québec City region.
It is thanks to all of you and, above all, along with you, that, as you will see in the following pages, the Port of Québec can look forward to tomorrow with optimism.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Québec Port Authority
As of December 31, 2021
As of December 31, 2021
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