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Occupy movement hits Ladner to protest port plans

A small group of demonstrators brought the Occupy movement to Ladner this week.

A small group of demonstrators brought the Occupy movement to Ladner this week.

The group met at the bus loop Monday morning before moving on to the Highway 17 pedestrian overpass to set up a non-disruptive demonstration to bring attention to local port issues - such as a possible foreign trade zone and Terminal 2 expansion.

"We're here because we're part of the West Coast Occupy port action," said Cathy Wilander, a Ladner resident and president of the local Council of Canadians chapter.

Occupy Vancouver and other movements along the coast - San Diego, Los Angeles, Oakland, Portland, Tacoma and Seattle - took action Monday, aiming to shut down ports in those cities, temporarily stopping the flow of capital on the West Coast.

Occupy Vancouver set up at the New Brighton Port entrance.

Delta South provincial NDP candidate Nic Slater took part in the local demonstration. He said he has concerns over the amount of truck traffic generated by Deltaport.

Slater said there are other ways to get goods to and from the port, specifically via barge, which, he said, is safer and less costly from a fuel point of view.

Bob Ages, another Ladner resident who is also involved with the local chapter of the Council of Canadians, as well as the organization's national board, said there are concerns about workers' rights and the ability to enforce labour laws if a foreign trade zone is established.

Ladner resident Jordan Jack, who was also at Monday's demonstration, got involved with the recent Occupy Vancouver movement.

"Just being down there was really interesting," he said, adding many of the people he met were very thoughtful and critical of the system.

"It was a shock, but in a good way."

Jack said bringing the larger Occupy port action closer to home makes sense because what goes on at Deltaport is a huge issue locally.

"We're seeing farmland slip into industrial uses... I'm not for it."

Delta police officers were at the bus loop Monday to keep an eye on the situation.

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