Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

Robin Silvester, President and CEO
Co-Chair, Presidents Group

Accessibility Leadership

Mr. Silvester was appointed president and chief executive officer of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority in 2009, bringing to the position extensive international experience in both the port and property sectors. Prior to joining the port authority, Mr. Silvester served as chief executive for the property and facilities management business, United Group Services ANZ in Australia.

Our Organization

Who We Are

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is responsible for the stewardship of the Port of Vancouver, Canada’s largest and most diversified port. We facilitate Canada’s trade objectives, ensuring goods are moved safely, while protecting the environment and considering local communities.

Why We Are Involved

At the port authority, we value diversity because we know that a diverse workforce leads to better collaboration, problem solving, and innovation. That’s why we are dedicated to employment equity and a workplace reflective of the diversity of our community.

Distinction and Awards

2016 – Employment Equity Achievement Award, in the Sector Distinction category, by the Federal Ministry of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour – for achievement in having the highest overall representation of visible minorities, women, aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities in the transportation industry.

Accessibility Initiatives

  • Our accessibility internship program offers one individual with disabilities per year an internship to meet a business need and provide an opportunity to develop work skills and gain valuable/relevant experience.
  • Held training sessions for all employees on respect in the workplace and unconscious bias and tailored management training sessions specific to their roles within our organization.
  • Conducted a third-party accessibility audit of our physical workspace and made suggested improvements as recommended by the auditor.
  • Employee equity committees are made up of volunteers from all levels of our organization.
  • Human resources partners on all of our hiring, in particular to avoid unconscious bias.
  • Actively pursue accommodations for individual employees to help them be more successful in their roles.
  • Employee and Family Assistance Program provides counselling and mental health support for all employees.

Accessibility Highlights

  • Partner with waterfront employers to lead diversity initiatives and to ensure diversity is kept top of mind in all of these organizations.
  • Revised our Equity Plan to include specific elements around persons with disabilities, and have established targeted measures.
  • Focus groups are conducted with employees to better understand their concerns and ideas on how to make the organization more inclusive.
  • Strong collaborative relationship with the union allows for open and transparent dialogue on accessibility issues and goals.