Academic journal article Canada-United States Law Journal

Issues Arising from Further Commercial Development of the Great Lakes

Academic journal article Canada-United States Law Journal

Issues Arising from Further Commercial Development of the Great Lakes

Article excerpt

Session Chair--Bill Hearn

United States Speaker--Rose Ann DeLeon

Canadian Speaker--Georges Robichon


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. …

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