Business & Economy
April 1, 2019

Expansion Back On? It’s Bait & Switch “Big Berth” Time at Deltaport

It’s not over until it’s over and Peter Ladner has forwarded this article from Business in Vancouver reporting that GCT Canada Limited (that’s Global Container Terminals) wants the Federal Court to make a decision regarding plans to grow container cargo handling capacity at Deltaport.

As I have previously written “Environment and Climate Change Canada’s statement to the Canadian Environment Assessment Agency clearly outlined the catastrophic impact of a new terminal eradicating this sandpiper feeding area…  finally, Environment Canada has come out with a definitive statement that should stop this project in its tracks.” 

That 2 to 3 billion dollar Terminal 2 would also mean creating a reclaimed paved over industrial island of 108 hectares (266 acres) west of the existing Deltaport, supposedly in water deep enough not to impact the sensitive migratory bird and intertidal habitat.

So the good news was that Global Container Terminal who leases the docks from Deltaport had stated that the Terminal 2 complex proposed at Roberts Bank was “outmoded and no longer viable.” But of course GCT has  now dropped their new manifesto, and you can kind of see where they are going in the following  words:

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In the Good News, Bad News department, Delta Optimist’s Sandor Gyarmati reports on the face-saving exercise being undertaken by Deltaport’s current container terminal operator Global Containers (GCT).  I have written about the Port of Vancouver’s  continued push for this terminal despite the fact that it is the resting grounds of hundreds of thousands of western sandpipers migrating to spring Arctic breeding grounds. These birds feed solely on an algae that is only available on the Roberts Bank mudflats. That algae cannot be moved or replaced, meaning that this important bird migration on the Pacific Flyway would be extinct with port expansion.

It was  Larry Pynn in The Province who pointed out that the written response from Environment and Climate Change Canada to the Canadian Environment Assessment Agency clearly outlined the catastrophic impact of a new terminal eradicating this sandpiper feeding area. Last year the Port of Vancouver said they wanted to work on these issues, but as a representative from B.C. Nature said “I’d say the … port has been holed below the water line. We clearly have an environment at Roberts Bank that is fragile, that cannot withstand any more port development, and, finally, Environment Canada has come out with a definitive statement that should stop this project in its tracks.”

But back to the Terminal operator’s and the Port of Vancouver’s spin on ditching the terminal expansion, and no it is not to save the migratory birds.

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On average, we buy three times more clothes than we did in the 80’s, and it is estimated that one garbage truck full of clothing is landfilled globally every second. Cheaper clothing, fast fashion trends, and an overall increase in consumption is resulting in more and more clothing waste. In Metro Vancouver we threw away 44 million pounds of clothing last year!

Join us to learn about Metro Vancouver’s new textiles waste reduction campaign that supports the transition of fashion to the circular economy.

  • Larina Lopez, Division Manager, Corporate Communications, Metro Vancouver
  • Sybille Kissling, Sales, Western Canada, KenDor Textiles Ltd.
  • Joy Lapka Mauro, Founder and Owner, Turnabout
  • Jill Fullan, Store Manager, Turnabout Granville

 

March 14

7:30 – 9 am – Presentations start at 7:30 am.  Continental breakfast available at 7:00 am

BCIT downtown campus, 8th Floor Atrium, 555 Seymour Street

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We just have to go here because it is a recurring story about personal protectionism versus doing the right thing for the public, sustainability and leading the  change.

I have previously written about Mr. Trump’s Trump Tower in New York City which has a glitzy interior reflective of the 1980’s. But one thing Mr. Trump tried hard to do was to ensure that no public had access to seating as required in the development permit for the building. He was required to create an 8,000 square foot public area with moveable chairs and tables, and insure a 22 foot long  bench was available below the escalator for the public to sit on. The bench originally disappeared, then came back with plants covering it to ensure that no public could use it. Kudos to the City of New York for ensuring that the bench is now available for the public to use.

Mr. Trump also rallied against New York City’s proposal to require the retrofitting of sprinkler systems in all highrise buildings. I wrote about the man who died in a fire in his unit in New York City’s Trump Tower after Mr. Trump got a citywide exemption which meant that buildings like his, which were built before 1990, did not need to conform with the regulation.

And in Scotland Mr. Trump owns two golf courses, one being the Aberdeenshire golf resort which overlooks the site of an 11 turbine wind farm on the North Sea. Mr. Trump before he became President took the Scottish government to court to have the project halted. As the BBC News reported Mr. Trump had argued the wind farm development would spoil the view from his golf course.

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Here are three interesting items that are linked to sustainability and surprisingly  involve the province of Alberta. As noted on Twitter by @TheGentYYC some extraordinary initiatives are moving that province in a greener direction. First off,  that Canadian oil stalwart, Petro Canada is building a network of Electric Vehicle (EV) fast charging stations across Canada.

Petro Canada says “Keeping people moving is what we do, and we know that Canadians needs are evolving. We want to help you along your journey, which is why we are building a cross-Canada network of EV fast charge stations. To keep you moving toward what matters most to you.”

As @TheGentYYC points out Petro Canada is owned by Suncor, the world’s largest producer of bitumen. Suncor had a revenue of over 29 billion dollars in 2015 and owns the oils sands plant near Fort McMurray.  For Suncor to sponsor electric vehicle charging stations is a “tectonic event” and suggestive of a major policy shift in “corporate climate leadership”.

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Maybe this won’t become a thermal coal port

Port Metro Vancouver has cancelled the permit for a project that would have resulted in more thermal coal shipments, these from Fraser Surrey Docks.  The only reason currently available is that the permit’s 83 conditions have not been met — specifically one requiring substantial start of construction by November 30, 2018.

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Join us to learn how local governments are working to achieve healthy, resilient urban forests, and hear highlights about Metro Vancouver’s Urban Forest Climate Adaptation program and New Westminster’s award-winning Urban Forest Management Strategy.

  • Edward Nichol, Senior Policy and Planning Analyst (Environment), Regional Planning, Metro Vancouver
  • Amelia Needoba, Principal & Senior Urban Forester, Diamond Head Consulting
  • Erika Mashig, Manager, Arboriculture, Horticulture, Parks & Open Space Planning, City of New Westminster

Wednesday, February 20

7:30 – 9:00 am – Presentations start at 7:30 am
Continental breakfast available at 7:00 am

BCIT Downtown – 555 Seymour

Register Now

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Tuesday November 6 is a the mid-term election day in the USA but it is also a big day for the City of Richmond too, where the inaugural meeting of the new City Council will include looking at  residential development on agricultural land. 

And it’s not only Richmond under siege with mansion growing~it’s happening in California wine country too.

The last City of Richmond Council has been complicit in allowing the best agricultural lands in Canada supposedly protected under  the Agricultural Land Commission  to become private gated offshore owned estates.

The previous Council against the advice of their own staff endorsed the building of nearly 11,000 square foot mcmansions on farming lands.  That Council also allowed larger farm properties to not only have a huge house, but an additional 3,200 square foot house for the “help”.

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