The recent media reports by the Canadian Press, "Ottawa urged to pause proposed B.C. port expansion, consider alternative plan," and comments during CBC Radio’s On The Coast with Gloria Macarenko reiterate the need to #RejectRBT2- the Port of Vancouver's flawed expansion project.
While we agree with the headlines, the Port of Vancouver continues to put forth inaccurate claims and outdated information.
Here are the facts.
The Port claims, "Canada urgently needs to handle more shipping containers on the West Coast, or it will start running out of capacity between 2025 and 2028. Some of the supply chain congestion the country is experiencing right now is exactly what we're going to start to experience if Terminal 2 isn't delivered."
Facts: Canada is NOT in urgent need of container terminal capacity. While we may need more container terminal capacity sometime in the future (well into the 2030s) at the earliest, what the supply chain needs NOW is public investments into off terminal infrastructure that will support resiliency from impacts of climate change. Furthermore, and inconveniently for the Port of Vancouver, their own "Container Traffic Report" indicates a decrease in full container volumes by 2% in 2021 compared to 2020. It is also important to note that the export of empty containers increased by 54%- in 2021, 980,000 containers leaving the Port of Vancouver were empty!
West Coast marine container terminal capacity is not part of the supply chain problem. The Gateway has done an exceptional job of handling pandemic-driven surge volumes, thanks to incremental, smart, market-driven investments made over the years and the hard work of the essential supply chain workers.
So, Canadians should not be alarmed – there is plenty of time to make the right decision for the economy, the environment, and Canadian taxpayers.
The Port claims, the location of GCT's proposed expansion DP4 (Deltaport Berth 4) has been turned down before.
Facts: Experts from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) confirmed there is no blanket prohibition on expansion along the east side of the Roberts Bank causeway, so there are no issues for the planned location for DP4 (https://ceaa-acee.gc.ca/050/documents/p80054/130057E.pdf). In fact, it is the RBT2 location that is the problem- if built, it would be an artificial island about the size of 150 football fields in the heart of the Fraser River Estuary. This construction is expected to impact several species legally protected under Canada's Species at Risk Act, such as Southern Resident Killer Whales.
Why is the Port of Vancouver still charging ahead with its decades old, massive, publicly-funded, $3.5 billion, environmentally-devastating project if there is not an urgent need for terminal expansion?
GCT will provide the required terminal expansion in half the time. Along with being less damaging to the environment and much better for the economy. And it will also be privately funded rather than using public funds that could be deployed elsewhere – like the off-terminal infrastructure that will improve resiliency of the supply chain.