The Port was initially established in 1947 and as a Harbour Commission was governed by the Harbour Commission’s Act of 1964. Port Alberni Port Authority is a continuation of the Harbour Commission and was proclaimed July 1st, 1999 pursuant to the Canada Marine Act, which received Royal Assent on the 11th day of June 1998.
As an Agent of the Federal Crown the Port Alberni Port Authority is mandated by its legislative Letters Patent to be financially solvent. This requires negotiating and implementing market-based rates and fees along with prudent financial management among its professional management team across all of its business units. As an Agent of the Federal Crown, the Port operates “at arm’s length” from the Federal Government while providing it a revenue stream equal to 2% of all gross revenue earned.
Additionally, the Port holds a Headlease with the Province of British Columbia to manage foreshore of certain waters in the Alberni Inlet. Under the terms of the Provincial Headlease the Port is required to provide the Province of British Columbia 50% of all gross revenue achieved within these managed waters.
Lastly, the Port has had an Accord with the City of Port Alberni since 1987 prescribing certain payment amounts the Port would make to the City each year while formalizing a spirit of good will and intent to jointly work towards projects of a mutual interest. This Accord has carried forward from when the Port was a Harbour Commission and since becoming a Canadian Port Authority in 1999. The current accord calls for annual payments of $100,000 per year from the Port to the City.
Port Alberni Harbour is one of the finest deep sea inland harbours on the North American Continent and is the closest deep sea port to the Pacific Rim. Vessels up to and including panamax size can easily navigate the Alberni Inlet.
Port Alberni Port Authority is responsible for both the day-to-day operations of the harbour, and the long term development and improvement of the waterfront facilities, including recreational marinas and secondary industries to the extent that these activities are specified in the Port Alberni Port Authority Letters Patent. The Port Authority is committed to working with the community towards economic diversification; its vision “to be a thriving diversified port”. The mission of the port is to facilitate profitable maritime trade and marine related tourism and industry by offering services and leadership that respect both the community and the environment.
In 2000, the Port Authority conducted a review of its practices that led to the development of a Port Authority Master Plan. The purpose of the plan was to provide a rational, long-term land and water use management policy and strategic plan for the Port Authority’s area of jurisdiction. To maintain and ensure economic viability and stability of/for the Ports’ operations yet positively addressing the requirements and needs of the Port’s customers and the community at large over a mid-level time frame.
Port Alberni Terminals is operable twenty-four hours per day, seven days a week as required. There are three deep-sea berths with a storage assembly area of seventeen acres. The terminal has historically handled lumber, pulp, newsprint, plywood and logs.
The Port Authority operates five successful marinas. There are four pleasure craft marinas; Clutesi Haven, China Creek, Harbour Quay and Tyee Landing, with approximately 543 berths and one Small Craft Harbour – Fishermen’s Harbour for the commercial customers with a total of 500 berths. Along with China Creek Marina, the Port leases lands from the Regional District to operate a 250 site campground.
The Port Authority manages over 100 leases and land exchange agreements. Property development roles and responsibilities of the Port Authority include the review and awareness of land development opportunities; to review and address property issues; and to administer the leasing, permitting and licensing of tenants and activities along the Crown portion of the Alberni Harbour.