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Throwback: Delta gets cash from port

The port this time around says it will provide grants for community organizations and student bursaries
Harbours Board chairman Bill Mearns with Delta Mayor Dugald Morrison.

Let’s head back to September 1969 when Mayor Dugald Morrison received what was considered a handsome cheque at the time from the B.C. Harbours Board.

The $68,797 cheque was a grant in lieu of taxes for the new superport lands at Roberts Bank.

Harbours Board chairman Bill Mearns described the gesture as “good citizenship.”

Morrison promised the money would be put to good use.

Fast forward several few decades and the harbours board is long gone.

The province has also restricted municipalities' ability to set property tax rates for ports they host after a successful lobby effort by the Port of Vancouver, which claimed municipal taxes impacted port competitiveness. Instead, an annual grant in lieu of taxes is provided to host municipalities..

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s proposed Terminal 2 expansion reached an important milestone in 2023 with the federal government granting approval. The project is now winding its way through the provincial process.

The port authority says its community investment program will provide $6 million to Delta organizations and students, should the project proceed. An initial investment of $500,000 would be made, although the City of Delta will not directly get any of the money.

The city received around $3 million over a decade ago from the port when the third berth opened for business at Roberts Bank. The city used that money to purchase the Seven Seas property on Chisholm Street in Ladner.