Despite ongoing claims by the Port of Vancouver, as recently published in the Business in Vancouver titled Angry opposition to Vancouver port container terminal expansion remains despite court ruling, its Roberts Bank Terminal 2 (RBT2) project is NOT in “Canada’s best interests”.
Claim: “The port’s anticipated container capacity crunch is looming in the 2030s”
- Roberts Bank Terminal 2 will NOT provide supply chain support now as it is not expected to be completed until 2033.
- Yes, new capacity may be needed in the mid-2030s, at the earliest, and more likely not until closer to 2040; however, the Port of Vancouver’s own published data shows lower volumes in several key areas including laden container cargo, container cargo by tonnage and container vessel calls.
- The Port also keeps failing to recognize there are already two planned, privately-funded projects to increase West Coast container terminal capacity, incrementally, as it is needed, with less impact on the environment and without costing taxpayers $3.5 billion.
- For more than a decade, the Port of Vancouver has been misleading the federal government and Canadians with poor forecasting, inaccurate information, inflating cost projections, slipping timelines, and inability to find a private sector partner.
Claim: “Terminal 2 being the only project that could meet that capacity demand in time”
- This is another misleading statement by the Port of Vancouver as its own information shows its RBT2 project cannot be completed until 2033 at the earliest. The Port ignores the fact that GCT’s Deltaport Berth 4 expansion can be built in HALF the time (four years of construction) compared to the Port’s RBT2 new, artificial island, megaproject which requires nearly 10 years!
Claim: “The pricing a competing terminal operator could offer to shipping lines”
- There are already two competitive container terminal operators in the Port of Vancouver: Dubai Ports World and GCT Global Container Terminals.
- The Port of Vancouver’s RBT2 doesn’t even have a willing terminal operator, so who knows how much they will charge and how they will operate.
- Competition is the responsibility of the Competition Bureau Canada. What information does the Port of Vancouver have that they don’t?
- What we do know is that RBT2 will be the most expensive (and taxpayer-funded) container terminal construction project in history. This means the required Port Authority rates will make the Vancouver gateway uncompetitive. This is what will drive shippers to other ports, not a lack of capacity at Canada’s West Coast ports.
Claim: “What the VFPA believes has been a thorough engagement and amelioration of concerns from local opposition groups”
- Environment and Climate Change Canada characterizes the environmental impacts of RBT2 as "permanent, irreversible, and, continuous".
- The Federal Review Panel for RBT2 concluded that the project would result in "numerous significant adverse residual and cumulative effects, including on Dungeness crab, on ocean-type juvenile Chinook salmon, and on the Southern Resident Killer Whale."
- The local community and the municipalities of the City of Delta and City of Richmond are opposed to RBT2 being built.
- A group of 12 leading scientists have spoken out about the potential impacts of RBT2 on more than 100 at-risk species.
- RBT2 is being challenged by local communities and environmental and Indigenous groups. Their concerns relate to migratory shorebirds, crab and fish habitat, and impacts on biofilm, and orca populations. Many feel they are not being heard, and that the process is moving too quickly.
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