Issues arising from further commercial development of the Great Lakes.

Author:Hearn, Bill
Position:PROCEEDINGS OF THE CANADA-UNITED STATES LAW INSTITUTE CONFERENCE on An Example of Cooperation and Common Cause: Enhancing Canada-United States Security and Prosperity Through the Great Lakes and North American Trade: Cleveland, Ohio April 2-4, 2009
 
FREE EXCERPT

Session Chair--Bill Hearn

United States Speaker--Rose Ann DeLeon

Canadian Speaker--Georges Robichon

INTRODUCTION

MR. HEARN: Well, let us get started. Good afternoon. My name is Bill Hearn. I am a partner at McMillan in their trade and transportation group. (1) I also chair our public policy and government relations group. (2) McMillan is a Canadian law firm with offices in Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary. Indeed, our firm's brand south of the border in North America is America's Canadian law firm. (3) So it is my privilege and pleasure to chair this panel today entitled "Commercial Development of the Great Lakes."

I am going to play with the title a little bit, because I cannot think of the Great Lakes without the Saint Lawrence in the system, the system that has been dubbed lately and rebranded as Highway H20. (4) That is the Saint Lawrence River, the Saint Lawrence Seaway, and the Great Lakes, a region covering 2,400 miles, 3,700 kilometers of navigable waters, lakes, canals, ports, and locks. (5)

The infrastructure investment in the Seaway has brought 2.3 billion tons of cargo worth more than $350 billion dollars in the last fifty years. (6) So we are going to talk not so much about commercializing that; we are already there. We are talking about further commercializing this asset, this asset that has also been called America's fourth sea coast. (7)

We will talk about shores and shipping, Canada-United States ferry projects, and container port expansion, among others. We are fortunate to have two eminently qualified speakers. Let me introduce first Rose Ann DeLeon. Her bio, of course, is in the conference materials, but let me just draw your attention to a few highlights. Rose Ann is vice president of strategic development for the Cleveland County Port Authority. (8) Actually, I did not want to pronounce that word that I think means "crooked river."

MS. DeLEON: Cuyahoga.

MR. HEARN: Okay. Thank you. She is responsible for strategic planning, project management for major projects, government relations with the city, county, state, and federal governments, and I can attest that is a big part of her work because we could not connect all week because she was in Washington. (9) She also manages and supports the Port Authority's tax levy campaign, and I can tell you that is a power that many of my Canadian ports would dearly love to have. (10) She also manages its foreign trade zone. (11) Rose Ann is a member of the American Association of Port Authorities, which, in fact, held their annual meeting last June in my hometown, Toronto. (12)

Rose Ann is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace College and Cleveland State University, and she is currently pursuing her PPM, which, for those not in the know, is the Professional Port Manager's certification through the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). (13)

We also welcome Georges Robichon. His bio is also in the materials, but let me give you some highlights. Georges is senior vice president and general counsel at Fednav. (14) That is essentially an international carrier, Canada's largest dry bulk ocean going, ship owning, and chartering, group. (15)

As I look through your bio, Georges, I cannot help but notice, like the Canada-United States Law Institute, you are celebrating what must be your twenty-fifth year at Fednav. (16) He is responsible for defending that group's corporate commercial and financing legal requirements as well as the group's Government relations. (17) Georges worked very closely with my partner in McMillan, Peter Cathcart, for several years in the commercialization of the Saint Lawrence Seaway and through the user group the establishment of the management corporation that I guess now is past the twenty-first year agreement.

Georges is a founding member of the Government and chair of the Government's committee of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation from its creation, as mentioned, from July of 1998 to August 2006. (18) He also has been actively involved for years in the aquatic invasive species and ballast water issues in the Great Lakes. Georges is a member of the Ontario and Quebec bars, and Georges graduated from the University of Ottawa and the London School of Economics and Political Science. (19)

The format for this session is essentially each speaker will speak for twenty minutes, and then we will open it up for questions from the floor. I am going to ask Rose Ann to start, and Georges will follow. Thank you.

(1) See McMillan: Lawyers/Law Clerks/Advisors, http://www.memillan.ca/AboutUs.aspx? Seetionl=AboutUs&Section2=Lawyer (last visited Sept. 13, 2009) (follow "Bill Hearn" hyperlink).

(2) See id.

(3) See McMillan Profile, http://www.mcmillan.ea/Upload/McMillan/McMillanFirmProfile (ENG).pdf (last visited Sept. 13, 2009).

(4) See D'ARCY JENISH, THE ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY: FIFTY YEARS AND COUNTING 21 (2009), available at http://www.greatlakes-seaway.com/en/pdf/Jenish-en.pdf.

(5) See id. at 19.

(6) See id. at 20.

(7) See 145 CONG. REC. E1383 (daily ed. June 23, 1999) (statement of Rep. Oberstar), available at http://frwebgate.aecess.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi?dbname=1999record&page =E1383&position=all.

(8) See Port of Cleveland: Rose Ann DeLeon, http://portofcleveland.com/site.cfm/About- Cleveland-Port-Authority/Staff-Dircetory/Rose-Ann-DeLeon.cfm (last visited Sept. 13, 2009).

(9) See id.

(10) Id.

(11) Id.

(12) Id.

(13) Id.

(14) See Fednav Contacts: Management, http://www.fednav.com/anglais/contacts_manage ment.html (last visited Sept. 13, 2009).

(15) See Fednav Group Divisions, http://www.fednav.eom/anglais/fednavgroup.html (last visited Sept. 13, 2009).

(16) See Harvard School of Public Health: Disasters ~ Prevention and Mitigation Speakers-Biographies, http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/disasters/biographies.html (last visited Sept. 14, 2009) (explaining that Mr. Robichon joined Fednav in 1984).

(17) Id.

(18) Id.

(19) See generally id. (stating that Mr. Robiehon holds a masters in law from the London School of Economics and Political Science).

UNITED STATES SPEAKER

MS. DeLEON: Thank you and good afternoon everyone. I am very happy to be here with you today, and as was said in the introduction, I want to talk a bit about the port of Cleveland today and some of our initiatives that we are working on, especially as they relate to our strategic plan and the diversification of cargo that comes to our Port Authority.

For those you not familiar with the Port of Cleveland, we are located downtown just north of Case Western Reserve University's campus. We are considered a 'bulk and break bulk port' because of the cargos that we carry. Our break bulk is typically steel and some heavy machinery through the Seaway International. Then we have a lot of bulk materials: iron ore, limestone, cement that comes through the lakes. That is the inter-lake and domestic cargoes. (20) One of the areas we are looking at and that the Port of Cleveland has actually taken a bit of a lead on is short sea shipping and bringing both containers through the Seaway and also short sea shipping across the lake with Canada or inter-lake with other parts of the Great Lakes. (21)

As I explained, our port is downtown, and several years ago the City of Cleveland looked at it, the entire lakefront to see how they could improve it, how they could make it more friendly, and get people to the waterfront, and they determined that they would like to move the Port Authority. (22)

We sit on the east side. If you see the river in the middle, the right side of the screen is the east side port. That is where our international dock operations are, and it is about 110 acres, and those are the facilities they would like moved. Over the last several years, we have been looking at where can we move? Where should we move? And, does it make actual sense to move? After that, we determined that if we move, we will move just to the east, just to the other side of Burke Lakefront Airport, just several miles to the east, which you see there on kind of the rectangular section would be the new port facilities at East 55th Street and the waterfront. (23) It would actually be built by the Army Corps of Engineers as a dike disposal facility, and then as it is built in phases, the port would move on there, and end phases would move off our downtown property so we could redevelop the downtown property. (24)

In doing that, however, in this day and age, just picking up the port and moving, we probably are the only port in the United States that is moving at this time or even contemplating moving. But our port, 110 acres, moving it, creating 200 acres is a size of most larger ports, where just a terminal would be, but for the size of our port, for the City of Cleveland, it is actually quite an undertaking and something that we are studying quite a bit.

This is something that will take hundreds of millions of dollars to happen. Well, land creation is estimated to be about $300 million dollars, and that is before infrastructure connections to it. And for the community to look at spending that kind of money, whether it comes from port, locally, state, federal, or even some private dollars, what is the reasoning for that? What makes sense?

What we believe makes sense is sort of a green area that you see there, and we will call it the international trade district. This is an area of older industrial Cleveland. The green area encompasses about 1,100 acres. It is where old Cleveland manufacturing was done.

It is in one of the most distressed areas of the city, and what we would like to do is, if we build a new port, work with the city to develop that adjacent land area into a new center for attracting manufacturing, attracting logistics, attracting new business into Cleveland, so that the port move is not about a port moving, but it is about economic development for a distressed city.

As we do that and we are doubling the size of the land, we have to look at new opportunities of what the port can do...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP