UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The little port that could : changing port governance in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, 1945-2014 Byrne, Nicholas


The Port of Prince Rupert, located north of Vancouver, Canada, by approximately 700 kilometers, has experienced rapid growth and development of terminal facilities and road and rail infrastructure over the past fifteen years. This port growth in Prince Rupert is, as residents hope, the cause of future economic growth for the city, with improved transport and tourism-related employment opportunities after a decade of decline following the closure of the Skeena Cellulose pulp mill near the city in 2001. The growth and development of the Port of Prince Rupert is the result of several factors, including economic demand for cargo shipping capacity, a strong willingness by the Canadian federal government and the British Columbia provincial government to support port and transportation infrastructure development, and a new Port Authority governance structure in Prince Rupert that allows for effective management and promotion of the Prince Rupert port. This study examines the Port of Prince Rupert’s history from the perspective of how changes in port governance have been significant to the Port’s development. To conduct research for this study, existing literature addressing trade agreements around the Pacific Rim and port governance models was surveyed. Empirical research for this study examined the history of the Port of Prince Rupert from 1945 until 2014, correlating governance structures noted in practice to theoretical models of port governance in existing literature. This thesis examines the theoretical literature (chapter 2), changes in governance at the Port of Prince Rupert between the end of the Second World War in 1945 and the creation of the Prince Rupert Port Authority in 1999, between 1999 and the start of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative in 2006, and continuing changes and development from 2006 to 2014. The thesis concludes by summing up the changes that have taken place in port governance at Prince Rupert, the theoretical implications of the study, and potential directions for further related research at the Port of Prince Rupert.

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