Port of Vancouver’s new terminal megaproject is just too much

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The Port of Vancouver is pushing to build its new megaproject island Roberts Bank Terminal 2 (RBT2) in Delta, B.C. at a massive $3.5 billion cost to taxpayers.

The Port’s RBT2 project will squeeze out smart, market-driven investments in container terminal capacity on the West Coast by private companies and Canadian institutional investors. 

This is NOT in the public interest.


It’s too much taxpayer dollars

The Port of Vancouver continues to ask the federal government to increase its borrowing limit so it can move forward with its flawed RBT2 expansion project at an exorbitant cost and risk.

The Port’s submissions to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance keep asking for expediting approvals and facilitating the "required" borrowing limit changes necessary for developing RBT2.

Watch video: Canadian taxpayers and port users are on the hook for the ballooning costs of the Port of Vancouver’s megaproject

The $3.5 billion of public funds required to build the Port’s RBT2 project would be better spent on upgrading Canada's Pacific Gateway corridors with projects that make it and the supply chain more resilient and sustainable. 

Rather than squeezing out private sector investment, federal money should be used to address challenges with critical, common-user infrastructure inland that supports the resiliency of the entire Canadian supply chain across modes, not on the flawed and unnecessary RBT2 expansion, the most expensive (and publicly-funded) container capacity ever built.

Imagine the road, rail, public transit and other infrastructure improvements that could instead be made with $3.5 billion…


It’s too much expensive capacity

The Port of Vancouver’s statements and propaganda materials  around West Coast container capacity requirements continue to be misleading and unhelpful for those looking to move their goods through Canadian ports and for the Canadian public trying to understand the issue.

Since 2010, the Port has continued to leverage incorrect data to push through its RBT2 expansion on the basis of capacity problems that are always just around the corner. But, we have turned many corners since and those terminal capacity issues, even during the pandemic, have not materialized.  

Watch video: Port of Vancouver’s forecasts have missed the mark

There are over a million TEUs of excess capacity on the West Coast of Canada right now, even without the additional 1.2M TEU now under construction at private sector terminals which will be online in the next three years. 

Container terminal capacity is NOT the issue. Fact. The VFPA’s own 2021 “Container Traffic Report” indicates a decrease in full container volumes by 1.8% in 2021 compared to 2020 and a massive increase in empty container exports. Also container ship traffic decreased by 9% which indicates that more volume is being moved by fewer, larger ships, so why build more “parking spots, where there are less cars coming?”

If the Port of Vancouver continues pushing RBT2, it will cost all terminals and all commodities moving through the port to subsidize these mistakes by the Port Authority’s ever-increasing rents and fees that make us less competitive as an Asia-Pacific gateway... Who’s going to pay to use the world’s most expensive container capacity ever brought online?

On the other hand, GCT’s Deltaport Berth 4 project is a smart, incremental plan that will add up to 2 million TEUs of market-driven and privately-funded capacity which will help keep Canadian port rates competitive and is no risk to taxpayers.


It’s too much environmental impact

Many voices —scientists, environmentalists, taxpayers and community— oppose the Port of Vancouver’s proposed RBT2 mega-project.

Environment and Climate Change Canada characterizes the environmental impacts of the Port's RBT2 project as "permanent, irreversible, and, continuous."

The Federal Review Panel for Roberts Bank Terminal 2 also 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."

Others agree:

Watch video: Port of Vancouver’s RBT2 project will disrupt important marine ecosystems

Why is the Port of Vancouver still charging ahead with its decades old, massive, publicly-funded, $3.5 billion, environmentally-devastating project without even considering alternatives that are less costly, less damaging and ready to come online when capacity will be required? 


GCT has a better solution for West Coast container capacity

GCT Global Container Terminals will provide the required terminal expansion in half the time due to their Deltaport Berth 4 project being an expansion of an existing site versus the creation of a massive new artificial island like RBT2. Along with being less damaging to the environment and much better for the economy, GCT’s Deltaport Berth 4 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.

It is time to consider the facts, the data, the science, and the economy. It is time to #RejectRBT2 and choose to build a #BetterDeltaport.


Email your Member of Parliament to help stop the Port of Vancouver’s harmful expansion project.


Learn more on our home page: betterdeltaport.ca

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