The Port of Vancouver over the past year has acquired more land in Delta.
According to the port authority, the acquisitions were made in Delta and elsewhere in the Lower Mainland to protect trade-enabling industrial lands, ensuring their availability for future port expansion and the warehousing and distribution centres needed to support trade.
Perhaps the most notable of the Delta acquisitions are a pair of water lots from the B.C. government for the planned Terminal 2 container facility expansion project.
The port is now required to update its land use plan to include and designate the newly acquired sites.
The port is proposing to redesignate the water lots to “Port Terminal” but that’s inconsistent with the city’s current official community plan designation.
A civic report notes that since the review of the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 expansion is not yet complete and details of the expansion have not been confirmed, Delta’s position is that the proposed change in designation is premature.
B.C. Nature, also known as the Federation of B.C. Naturalists, is critical of the transfer of provincial water lots into port hands, saying it suggests provincial compliance and approval of Terminal 2 prior to the completion of the environmental assessment.
The port, meanwhile, divested itself of three sites in the Lower Mainland including one in Delta near the South Fraser Perimeter Road.
According to the port authority, its 2018 mid-year container results show a five per cent increase over last year to 1.64 million TEUs, reaching a new record for containers at the Port of Vancouver.
“And, there are no signs that container growth on Canada’s West Coast will slow down any time soon.”
To handle this growth, significant upgrades to existing facilities at the Port of Vancouver are underway, while expansion at Canada’s other major West Coast port in Prince Rupert is taking place to handle more containers, the port authority states.
“However, even with the additional capacity provided by these improvements, independent expert forecasts show that it won’t be enough to manage Canada’s future trade demand beyond the mid-2020s.”