Delta council wants a proposal to build an inland container terminal at Ashcroft revived and receive serious consideration.
Civic politicians this week unanimously endorsed a motion by Mayor Lois Jackson to once again voice support for the proposed inland container terminal near the interior community
Jackson said the proposal was brought forward several years ago but received little in the way of meaningful consideration or consultation by government, even though it makes sense on many levels.
"This really could help us tremendously save our farmland, create jobs in the interior and it makes just abundant sense reducing the number of trucks on our roads," said the five-term mayor.
In 2008, council received a request from the mayor of the Village of Ashcroft to provide a letter of support for the establishment of an inland container port in that community.
The proposed site is 450 acres of flat, industriallyzoned land 260 kilometres from Vancouver. It is serviced by both CN Rail and CP Rail main lines and is close to the TransCanada Highway. There is capacity to store over 140,000 containers.
A memo to council by staff at the time noted that as part of the Pacific Gateway Strategy, an Inland Container Terminal Study was undertaken and completed in December 2006. That study found the establishment of inland container terminals might be a way to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the supply chain.
"The primary benefit to Delta and the Lower Mainland generally would be the significant reduction in truck traffic since containers would be loaded directly from ship to train.
Clearly, moving as many of these containers as possible out of the Lower Mainland area by train would significantly reduce the volume of truck traffic," stated the memo.
The establishment of an inland container terminal would also reduce pressure on land for container storage and processing in the Lower Mainland, according to the memo.
"For Delta, in particular, the conservation of agricultural land is a primary concern and, in terms of industrial land, container storage does not always constitute the optimal use, economically or aesthetically."
On another front, the NDP's provincial council recently endorsed a motion to oppose the establishment of a foreign trade zone in South Delta.
The establishment of a special zone is likely to result in a further loss of Delta's prime farmland and change the character of the community, said Nic Slater, the party's candidate for Delta South.