Letter to Editor: Time to stop the Port of Vancouver’s flawed project



Re: Turning off pause button for Port of Vancouver's Delta expansion (Optimist, Jan. 11) 

The juxtaposition of the above title and information in the article once again gives me pause.

That’s because it states that the federal government’s review of the Port Authority’s Terminal 2 expansion application was paused last August when the Minister of Environment and Climate change asked for additional important information (like mitigation measures for biofilm and effects to migratory birds and Indigenous peoples).

The Port responded it would provide the requested information by this summer — nearly a year later! Not exactly rushing to turn off that pause button… What the article doesn’t mention is that the Port Authority itself asked for the pause from the government (https://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/050/documents/p80054/135882E.pdf). 

All of this is entirely in keeping with their previous actions.

A quick perusal of their Procurement Updates web page shows that in December 2019, they stated that they will start procurement late in 2020. In June 2020, they stated that procurement would start early in 2021. Now in January 2021, they state that procurement won’t start until early 2022. So, every six months their procurement timelines slip by a year. Is this procurement following in the footsteps of the previous one conducted for this same project between 2016 and 2019, which slipped and slipped before failing?

Unfortunately, project timelines are not the only thing the Port is getting wrong. The first project costs released in 2013, claimed it would cost ~$2.4 billion. These costs have kept increasingly inflating with various approaches to procurement. The most recent estimates have almost doubled the original costs to $3.5 billion. With such a cost the T2 project will certainly need to be subsidized and never be profitable.

Forget the pause button, it’s time to push the stop button on this flawed project.

Patty Bossort

This Letter to Editor originally titled Time to stop this flawed project written by Patty Bossort was originally published in the Delta Optimist on February 8, 2021. 

Watch: Port of Vancouver’s costly errors for Canadian taxpayers