In Saving Atlantica and the Atlantic Gateway from the Politicians, AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley warns the Atlantic Gateway strategy must not be based on a pot of money dangled in front of the region with every possible interest needing to be bought off regardless of the reality of their alleged potential role in the strategy.

Based on Crowley’s remarks to the Annual General Meeting of the Halifax Shipping Association, Saving Atlantica explains government has to think strategically about how to use the investments, not to provoke political battles, but to concentrate on the prize to be won.

Crowley says the reality is that the Port of Halifax represents eastern Canada’s only opportunity to participate in the post-Panamax trade from Asia. Without it, that trade will by-pass Canada and both halves of Atlantica altogether, and head for New York and other US ports to the south.

However, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be benefits all around the region. Crowley explains that it just means that those benefits won’t come from politicians promising a chicken in every pot and a post-Panamax ship in every port.

In Saving Atlantica, Crowley says the opportunity for the whole region flows from one port with a plausible chance to become a genuine gateway port of continental and global significance, and that’s where the effort must to concentrated to take that from a plausible chance to a reality.

Crowley concludes, “If we are to succeed, we should not, we must not and we cannot settle for mediocrity; rather we must strive for excellence. An undignified scramble for “free government money” that isn’t even being spent on the right things won’t get us there. Only unwavering focus on our real competitive strengths and a sound understanding of the demanding international logistics chain we are trying to break into will even get our puck to the crease, let alone into the net.”

To read the complete Commentary, click here.