Disputing the stats on container traffic and forecasted job creation

Editor:

Re: More than inland port required, letter to the editor, July 30

article continues below

I take exception and refute a number of misleading points raised by Mr. Peter Xotta, vice-president planning and operations, Port Metro Vancouver in his letter.

Mr. Xotta states container traffic will double over the next 10-15 years. This is highly improbable since compound annual growth over the most recent five years is in the three per cent range. The Canadian Central Bank only projecting an annual economic growth rate of 2.3 per cent this year and 2.7 per cent next year. PMV container throughput would have to be closer to a six per cent annual growth rate every year to justify this doubling. We should also remember there will be losses in volume once the Panama Canal widening is completed in 2015, and a take back of business from PMV to the USA after their west coast strike is settled.

Mr. Xotta also ignores the federal government's recommendations that said, a) No more port expansion in Vancouver until Prince Rupert expansion is maximized. b) Develop inland terminals to reduce traffic congestion in the Lower Mainland.

The other misleading statistic quoted by Mr. Xotta was the forecasted job creation figures, namely tens of thousands logistics related jobs and 9,000 direct jobs. If we start with the hypothetical premiss of 1,000 direct jobs at T2, considering it will be highly automated and using a standard econometric spinoff job multiplier of four, the highest rating number we would end up with 4,000 direct and indirect jobs which is a long way shy of 9,000 and far cry from last years projections from PMV's CEO Robin Silvester who said 18,300 would be created.

These inflated figures boggle the mind and are the kind of fiction that PMV uses to try to persuade our community to support their expansion.

We deserve a true and clearer picture.

Rod Asher

B.A. (Hons) Econ.

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