The transfer agreement includes a contribution of $3.8 million from the Government of Canada to cover operational costs and maintain the port's infrastructure.
Shea made the announcement on behalf of Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
"Today is a great day for the community of Georgetown," said Shea. "This transfer means the port is now managed by those best positioned to ensure its ongoing success — people from this community, local businesses and port users. Our government's investment of $3.8 million will help GPI to attract new commercial opportunities that will support growth and long-term prosperity for Prince Edward Island."
"Community-based ownership of this port will encourage economic development, create local jobs and help generate new business activity in Georgetown," said Lebel. "This transfer is also an important measure to save taxpayers' money."
The Port of Georgetown is situated on a deep water harbour with facilities currently used for general cargo shipping and support to marine industries including shipbuilding, fish processing and aquaculture. The wharf is 290 metres long by 41 metres wide and supports four working berths with a minimum depth of eight metres. A 50 metre by 12 metre transit shed is located on the wharf.
GPI, a not-for-profit local entity comprising local businesses and community stakeholders, was established to promote the development of the port.
"We are excited about our port's outlook," said GPI chair Tim Mair. "Georgetown Port Inc. will work hard to ensure the Port of Georgetown continues to contribute to the economic growth of this community and will be looking for new development opportunities in the future."
The Port Divestiture Program aims to transfer ownership and operation of Transport Canada-owned ports to other federal departments, provincial/territorial governments or local interests, including municipalities, which are better positioned to operate these ports in a manner that is more efficient and responsive to local needs.