The public hearing for the proposed Terminal 2 megaproject at Roberts Bank began Tuesday at the Tsawwassen Springs.
The independent federal review panel that’s gathering input on the Port of Vancouver’s container terminal expansion plan started the proceedings by hearing various motions including objections from several individuals, such as Against Port Expansion’s Roger Emsley, who said more time is needed to analyze information. Global Container Terminals, the current operator of Deltaport, asked for an adjournment in order for alternatives to be properly assessed, including GCT’s proposal to expand its facility.
A port official provided responses to the motions, saying “ample and sufficient” information and time have been provided and that the alternatives have already been examined in the project overview and rational. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has indicated that further expansion into the intertidal zone won’t be considered due to habitat threat, which negates GCT’s proposal, according to the port.
Among the speakers scheduled to make a presentation Wednesday is Delta Mayor George Harvie, outlining the city’s position that includes the environmental review process not proceeding any further until “there is greater certainty regarding the need and appropriateness of RBT2 to address Canada’s trading needs."
Delta also states more time is required so that “the Deltaport Fourth Berth Proposal has been properly assessed” and “there is greater certainty and consensus regarding impacts on critical habitats and endangered species, including biofilm, migratory shorebirds and the southern resident killer whales”.
The city also wants to ensure “that any approval of RBT2 must be contingent upon the resolution of traffic congestion at the George Massey Tunnel.”
A representative with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is also scheduled to make a presentation Wednesday. According to the chamber’s submission, “it is critical for Canada to continue expanding its export capacity.”
The chamber also notes, “Expanding Canada’s west coast container capacity will strengthen Canada’s competitive position in international markets and benefit all businesses that rely on connectivity to global supply chains. Ensuring Canada can accommodate container demand in the coming decades will benefit Canadian consumers, create thousands of new direct and indirect jobs and generate new tax revenue for governments.”
The port is scheduled to outline the environmental, effects, which are to be minimized, and extensive mitigation measures.
The hearing will take place at various locations in Delta throughout the rest of May before continuing for most of June in other communities in B.C.
For more information about the project and hearing, check https://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/050/evaluations/proj/80054