Delta port operator says it supports Indigenous peoples effort for Salish Sea


The operator of the container port at Roberts Bank made a funding big announcement this week, saying it is committed to protecting the environment and supporting Indigenous peoples.

Global Container Terminals, which is embroiled in a feud with the Port of Vancouver over container terminal expansion in Delta, in a news release noted it was a platinum sponsor of the inaugural Declaration Conference on Jan. 14, which brought together Indigenous, business and other government leaders.

The Declaration Conference aimed to build a collective understanding of the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

GCT also notes the conference highlighted many potential opportunities and critical issues, including the need for an Indigenous-led effort on cumulative effects as discussed by a conference panel, Sustainable Vision, Cumulative Effects and Long-term Trade in the Salish Sea, and outlined in a recently released conference report.

GCT on Tuesday announced it is establishing a $200,000 fund to support Indigenous-led initiatives aimed at collaboration and increasing participation in the cumulative effects assessment.

“As a Vancouver-based company, GCT is committed to protecting the environment and strengthening the dialogue shared with our partners to achieve this common purpose,” GCT stated.

“We hope GCT is the first of many B.C. industry leaders and government partners to come forward to advance our common path to shared prosperity through information sharing and dialogue facilitated by events like the Declaration Conference,” said Doron Grosman, president and CEO of Global Container Terminals Inc.

“More needs to be done to respect and include traditional knowledge, including by advancing an independent and thorough cumulative effects process in partnership with Indigenous communities.”

GCT continues to lobby hard for its proposed alternative to the port authority’s Terminal 2 project.

Terminal 2 is a proposed new three‐berth container terminal that would provide 2.4 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) of additional container capacity annually.

The project is undergoing a federal environmental assessment by an independent review panel, which held a lengthy public hearing last summer, under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

The panel is to make a recommendation whether to approve the project, which would be constructed on a man-made island adjacent to the existing Deltaport terminal.

Also having made a presentation to the review panel, GCT is pitching a fourth berth to the existing facility.

“It is GCT’s view that the long-term sustainability of our gateway is only achievable through careful terminal design that reflects a modern, innovative, and a more sustainable approach to planning and constructing such an expansion,” a submission by GCT stated.

The company also stated, “It may also have lower environmental impacts and deliver capacity at a lower all-in cost when compared to the proposed RBT2.”

This article by Sandor Gyarmati originally appeared in the Delta Optimist on February 5, 2020.

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