It’s a bit rich to be scolded by a federal government agency about land use in Vancouver.
After more than 40 years of service in the civic affairs of our city and province, I have learned a few things. One of them is that the south shore of Vancouver harbour is not a good place for more container terminal expansion over and above the expansion already happening at Centerm, especially when you consider the impact of displacing the people and companies that do business there.
No one, especially the head of a federal agency, should call the region’s food producers “industry special interests.” These are the people who put food on our tables and play a major role in a sustainable local economy. Now that the head of the Port has indicated that the south shore is being prepared for expansion, citizens of Vancouver should ask what exactly this will entail, and at what cost.
South shore businesses, including the one company the port references, are having their leases ended to clear the way for container terminal development. These businesses conduct international trade, they invest, and they play a critical role in Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sectors.
Let’s not hide behind the Canada Marine Act. Nowhere does it say the densification of container terminals at any cost. I know land use, and I know sustainability. I also know that “input from users and the community” must be considered. And by the way, the Act does require that.
Mike Harcourt, Vancouver
This Letter to Editor Don’t hide behind the Canada Marine Act written by Mike Harcourt was originally published in the Vancouver Sun on December 29, 2020.