I am sure you have noticed that governments, both provincial and federal, as well as Port Metro Vancouver, are quick to assure us that projects have undergone or will undergo "a rigorous environmental assessment" when citizens express concern about the effects of their mega-projects.
Some inspection of the facts, however, casts grave doubts on this assertion.
It seems to have started with Deltaport Third Berth. Right away there was an issue regarding the scope of the cumulative effects assessment.
The Environmental Assessment Act requires the review must take into consideration the effects of projects already completed and those that are "reasonably foreseeable" for the future. After all, this is what cumulative means, isn't it?
However, in this case, Port Metro Vancouver was allowed to withdraw Terminal 2 from the scope of this assessment.
In this precious estuary of a major river, will the combined effects of port expansion, road and rail expansion, freeway construction and threatened development of optioned agricultural lands ever be properly assessed?
I suspect it will be up to us, the residents of the delta, to defend it. What will it take?
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