Tug boat labour unrest, trucking labour threats, anchorage issues, rail supply and congestion of terminals, Westshore labour dispute, concerns with rent setting methodology, Gateway Infrastructure Fee (GIF) assessment methodology, governance, including Board appointment holdovers, are some of the many issues that need attention on the West Coast. Yet judging by the massive media campaign it's spending public dollars on, the Port of Vancouver's leadership remains consumed by the Roberts Bank Terminal (RBT2).
Contrary to what the Port of Vancouver would have the Government and Canadians believe, container terminal capacity and the Port's Roberts Bank Terminal 2 (RBT2) project are NOT urgent issues for the West Coast or Canada.
The Port of Vancouver has been the proponent of RBT2 and its now $3.7 billion price tag for the past 20 years. When conceptualized, it was to fulfill the capacity needs in the mid-2020s. Now, the project is not expected to be operational until 2033; still has no environmental assessment permits; and has repeatedly failed to identify a private sector terminal operator partner. The operators that have been shortlisted in the past (all non-Canadian, by the way) have walked away from the project.
Global Container Terminals (GCT), a majority Canadian-owned terminal operator in the Port of Vancouver, has been advancing an incremental expansion of its existing terminal by building a 4th berth, the GCT Deltaport Berth Four Expansion Project (DP4) (~$1.6B+ cost) at Deltaport for the past 7 years. The issue of RBT2 and DP4 remains a live issue with Indigenous communities, municipalities, and many other waterfront stakeholders.
The Port Modernization Review and the Supply Chain Taskforce reports present an opportunity to adjust governance of Port Authorities, such that VFPA can refocus on many of the critical threats to our supply chain and address outstanding challenges outside of RBT2.
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