No lobbying needed; Oshawa and Hamilton opt to recruit for HOPA board of directors instead

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Published February 26, 2024 at 4:44 pm

Oshawa Council has decided not to lobby the federal government for an extra seat on the board of the Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA), but to instead put out an open call for residents in both cities who wish to serve on the HOPA board as the municipally appointed director.

Five years after the Hamilton and Oshawa harbour organizations merged to create HOPA the two cities still must share the single seat allotted to the respective municipal councils on HOPA’s board of directors.

The merger was made official June 8, 2019 and both municipal councils have been calling for an extra seat on the board since then.

The two councils established a working group to figure out how to lobby Ottawa for the extra seat at the table but decided against sending a joint letter to the federal Ministry of Transport requesting the Letters Patent be “immediately amended” to allow for two municipal appointees, one from each municipality.

Instead, staff in both Oshawa and Hamilton will work to develop a recruitment package to entice interested people.

The municipally appointed director would serve a four-year term, coinciding with the municipal election cycle and council term, understanding that the first director will serve a truncated term to synchronize with the current council term.

HOPA is Canada’s busiest Great Lakes Port, welcoming 665 vessels last year (603 in Hamilton and 62 in Oshawa) and handling nearly 11.3 million tonnes of cargo – about 30 per cent of Canada’s Great Lakes traffic.

HOPA was also named Bulk Port of the Year by the International Bulk Port Journal.

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