Mon. Jul 4th, 2022

A railroad bridge washed out of the floodwaters is pictured near Merritt, BC on Thursday, December 9, 2021.JONATHAN HAYWARD / The Canadian Press

In the wake of last month’s catastrophic floods that cut off Canada’s main port, Ottawa will convene a summit of industry figures and shippers to discuss strengthening supply chains, a government source said Sunday.

The event will take place in early 2022, said the source, who requested anonymity because the person is not authorized to speak to the media about the event.

Canadian transportation supply chains have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and floods and landslides in the Pacific Coast province of British Columbia.

The summit will bring together shippers, ports, terminals and the rail and truck sectors, as well as critical infrastructure organizations to discuss how to ensure that supply chains can fully recover and make them more resilient, the source said.

Floods and landslides temporarily cut tracks into Vancouver, which is operated by Canadian National Railway Co. and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. The province declared a state of emergency and rationed gasoline.

The majority of Canadian exports, which account for nearly a third of the country’s GDP, travel to the Pacific coast to reach Asian markets.

The supply-chain route relies on two railroad lines and a handful of highways through the Rocky Mountains and the rugged British Columbia interior to Vancouver. Experts say it would not be practical to build new tracks or roads.

One option could be to reduce dependence on Vancouver and make more use of the smaller port at Prince Rupert in northern British Columbia, which plans to increase its container capacity by a third by 2023.

This content is displayed as provided to The Globe by the original wiring service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.

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