Friday, September 26, 2014

The ongoing debate over Port Expansion

Well, I spent two hours of my time yesterday at the ‘small’ meeting for the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Expansion Project. Thirty or so community people showed up including professionals, ready to debate the information presented by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (doing business as Port Metro Vancouver, PMV). Needless to say it was not a debate. The well presented glossy booklets held little new information since the previous presentations. It was clearly obvious that no public input has been seriously considered. The information is really a one way stream of polished Public Relations. Nothing more than Blah, Blah, Blah.

This Federal Crown Corporation will not govern the tenants that are in place within their jurisdiction. This was made clear when Fraser Surrey Docks refused to pay an environmental fine to the Vancouver Metro Board. Notwithstanding their argument that they are governed by laws, there is obviously no body that will govern, or preside over, PMV or their tenants.

You will find the following on their website:

Our Mission

To lead the growth of Canada’s Pacific Gateway in a manner that enhances the well-being of Canadians and inspires national pride.

 Our Vision

To be recognized as a world class Gateway by efficiently and sustainably connecting Canada with the global economy, inspiring support from our customers and from communities locally and across the nation. 

After yesterdays presentation I would ask three questions of PMV;

·        How can you possibly claim to “enhance the well-being of Canadians” if you are not interested or willing to address the major concerns expressed in this process?

·        How can you possibly claim to be “world class” or “sustainable” when your time line for shore power is “sometime over the next ten years.”

·        How can you possibly “inspire support..from communities”, or attain your claimed “transparency” when your process is really nothing more than a mandated PR forum?

A lot of specific questions were raised at this meeting. Nothing more was offered than a repetition of the information in your glossy pamphlet. The issue of shore power alone should be settled before any expansion is considered. If you were really interested in being a “world class Gateway” you would handle shore power the way it has been handled in Long Beach, CA. In 2014 50% of the fleet calls must use shore power. By 2020 this will rise to 80%. You have enough data on complaints from local residents to convince you this issue needs to be handled and yet you remain cavalier about your approach.

Port Metro you need to do better than this! Show us some level of responsibility. You owe it to the residents of Delta to be the corporate citizen you claim to be.

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