02 Jul Remarks / Opening of the TCEF Site
Remarks by Harbour Link / Tidewater Container Services Inc. to commemorate the Opening of the TCEF Site
Remarks by Gordon Payne, Chairman of Harbour Link / Tidewater Container Services Inc. at the Grand Opening by the Canada Border Services Agency of the Tsawwassen Customs Examination Facility (TCEF).
Thank you JJ and good morning everyone.
Before proceeding, I would like to thank the Tsawwassen First Nations for the privilege of being able to share the connectivity they have with the land we are standing on and to honour the presence of the Tsawwassen First Nation Chief and other members of the Tsawwassen First Nation in attendance.
Earlier this year we had the privilege of attending the brushing ceremony of this site by the TFN Elders; a ceremony conducted to protect the land and water and all who visit and work at the site.
We were humbled by the presence of the Elders and the dignity bestowed by them on this site and we wish to thank the Coast Salish people for allowing us to work together with them on their traditional territory.
To recognize the connectivity of the TCEF site and its operations with the sea and maritime trade, we are mindful of the importance of the salmon in First Nations culture as a symbol of abundance, fertility, prosperity and renewal.
For thousands of years, the Coast Salish people have depended on salmon as a staple food source.
The salmon has served as a source of wealth and trade and is deeply embedded in the culture, identity, and the existence of First Nations people.
Treated with the utmost respect, Salmon are seen as “gift-bearers” that were once relatives and now spiritually superior.
To honour this belief, Harbour Link & Tidewater Container Services will be guided by the importance placed by the Tsawwassen First Nations in the salmon, and we are hopeful of harbouring a similar commitment to achieve a measure of renewal and prosperity for the benefit of all who work at this site.
To recognize the Tsawwassen First Nations for their determination, renewal and prosperity we would like to present a stone carving of a fish to the Chief of TFN as a symbol of our common connectivity with the sea and our commitment to use and protect the TCEF lands in the common interests of all who work at this site.
We would also like to thank the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority for selecting Harbour Link & Tidewater to be the service provider for CBSA at this site as they carry out the important national security tasks, which protect us all.
To recognize CBSA for their exceptional efforts and professionalism and the cooperative working relationship we are building together, we would like to present to CBSA a Ceremonial Talking Stick used by the Coast Salish people during potlatches and on other occasions to symbolize Tidewater’s commitment to achieve open communication and to provide services that match CBSA’s globally recognized high standards in protecting Canada’s best interests.
We look forward to fostering a strong working relationship with CBSA and the people of TFN as we carry out our services at this site.
Our aim is to continue to enhance Port of Vancouver’s reputation as a global leader in container port services as Canada’s Premier Asia Pacific Gateway.
Thank you, everyone.