Act by June 8 to protect Fraser River estuary from Roberts Bank port expansion. Here’s why and how.

Public service announcement, received from Susan Jones.

Please Act by June 8th for Roberts Bank, Fraser River Estuary

Notice from the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) is asking for public comments on the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project (RBT2).

The federal government approved the RBT2 Project on April 20, 2023.  The environmental assessment was a harmonized process meaning the environmental assessment by the federal government also served as a B.C. assessment.  Under a signed substitution agreement, the B.C. Government agreed to one assessment.  However, the assessment requires approval by both the federal government and B.C.

B.C. has not yet approved the assessment and is asking for public input on provincial materials summarizing the assessment and commenting on implications for BC assessment requirements.

Please submit comments even though Premier Eby has recently publicly stated support for RBT2.  This is definitely inappropriate, discouraging, and disturbing.

Please send in your comments to the provincial government by Thursday, June 8, 2023

The BC EAO online where you can comment directly or attach a prepared submission. Go to the following link and click on Submit Comment. EPIC (

The Notice does not provide an email address, but if you have trouble online, you could probably send an email to the BC EAO Office: Tracey Janes, Project Lead, Roberts Bank Terminal 2:

LINK: EPIC (  If you scroll down the page, the BC EAO has asterisks beside 3 documents for public comment.

Send in your opinion and your comments.

Possible Points:
Provincial interests are not fully addressed in the B.C. Draft Summary Assessment Report:

1.   The B.C. Report claims satisfaction that adverse effects related to provincial jurisdiction have been adequately addressed.  However, the Report fails to disclose that major factors of provincial responsibility were not assessed:

a)       subtidal wetlands
b)      cumulative effects on wetlands
c)       cumulative effects on the estuary and Salish Sea
d)      accountability to the B.C. Wildlife Management Area
e)       importance of biofilm to the health of the Fraser River Estuary
f)        17 bird species listed on the Species at Risk Act or by the Committee of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC)
g)      cumulative effects assessment of all shorebirds (only 2 species of 50 were assessed)
h)      level of public concern
i)         accountability to designations; agreements; policies; and legislation

Other major factors were not sufficiently assessed:
a)       serious threats to human health from pollution affecting the lower mainland and the Salish sea
b)      light and noise pollution that cannot be mitigated
c)       loss of fish and fish habitat
d)      effects on endangered chinook salmon and endangered southern resident killer whales
e)       ‘threatened White Sturgeon’
f)        ‘threatened Barn Owl’
g)      loss of agricultural land

2. The B.C. Draft Summary Assessment Report fails to flag the fact that the environmental assessment fails to provide scientifically proven, identifiable mitigation measures

The B.C. Report states practical means have been identified to reduce any potential adverse effects of RBT2 to provincial jurisdiction. 

Practical means are supposed to represent mitigation to address the harm RBT2 will cause to the ecosystems of the estuary and Salish Sea.  No credible, identifiable, scientifically-proven measures have been provided in the environmental assessment even though the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA 2012) clearly states that an environmental assessment must include: “19(1)(d) mitigation measures that are technically and economically feasible and that would mitigate any significant adverse environmental effects of the designated project.”

The mitigation measures in the federal and provincial reports call for plans, consultations, monitoring and adaptive measures.  These are tools, not mitigation.

3RBT2 will cause unmitigable, irreversible, permanent residual effects on wetlands.  Both the B.C. and federal assessment agencies have failed to flag the failure of RBT2 to protect wetlands which include listed species.

Federal and B.C. Government scientists documented concerns of serious, unmitigable effects on wetlands. They advised RBT2 will cause large-scale habitat destruction; death of fish; change in geomorphological processes; ongoing loss of wetlands and wetland functions; degradation and fragmentation of vegetation; alteration of sedimentation; and impacts on listed species.   They advised these effects could not be effectively mitigated as it is not technically feasible to recreate the estuarine habitats.

4.  Claimed Economic Benefits of RBT2 are misleading and the Project will harm existing operations

The Draft Summary Assessment Report states the Review Panel reported that RBT2 will benefit the container business by increasing container terminal capacity; supporting competitiveness; and providing operational and spin-off jobs.  This information is misleading as the west coast of Canada is increasing container capacity at Vancouver terminals and at the Port of Prince Rupert.  There is ample current and planned capacity for decades, without RBT2.

The touted spin-off jobs are already activated with current operations.

The International Longshore & Warehouse Union – Local 502 submitted concerns of job losses resulting in unemployment in the transport sector and revenue losses in local communities.

The current operator at Deltaport, Roberts Bank, Global Containers Inc., is also vehemently opposed to RBT2 and advises that RBT2 will negatively impact their business.

5. Draft Summary Assessment Report omits to include level of public concern

Thousands of submissions have expressed opposition to RBT2 and concern for the health of the Fraser River Estuary and Salish Sea.

Public comments have not been meaningfully incorporated.  This contravenes the ‘International Core Values for the Practice of Public Participation.’

6.  Resources or values in the Fraser Estuary and Salish Sea will not longer be available for future generations

The Draft Summary Assessment Report acknowledges some of the harm RBT2 will cause at Roberts Bank but fails to identify all effects and the implications to the health of the Fraser River Estuary and Salish Sea ecosystems.  Under the heading, ‘Resources of Values that May no Longer be Available for Future Generations’:  

The EAO acknowledges that there could be potential impacts to resources or values of importance to current and future generations. As described in the Panel Report, RBT2 would require the conversion of approximately 168.1 ha of intertidal and subtidal habitat on Roberts Bank in the Fraser River estuary, an ecologically productive and sensitive area of coastal British Columbia

The wording, “could be potential impacts” does not being to correlate with the concerns raised by government and independent scientists, as well as the Review Panel, that warned effects will be high in magnitude, permanent and irreversible for:

Wetlands and wetland functions
Juvenile chum and Chinook salmon
Biofilm and western sandpipers
Ecology of the estuary
Fish habitat
Effects on human health from air pollution
Noise pollution
Greenhouse gas emissions

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What are your thoughts about *NOISE* in Vancouver? City seeks input to update Noise Control By-law. Survey ends May 30 for multi-year project.

CityHallWatch: Tools to engage in Vancouver city decisions

Below is a public service announcement from City of Vancouver, plus some online resources we have put together.

As an aside, did you know that International Noise Awareness Day this year was on April 26, 2023? Did you know that Vancouver is the proud home of the Right to Quiet Society, a wonderful resource. This consultation and review process by the City of Vancouver is a great opportunity for public input. People experience many kinds of noise in cities, and it affects us and the natural environment.

Photo by Anamul Rezwan on


Notice from City of Vancouver

Tell us your thoughts about Noise in Vancouver

The City of Vancouver is undertaking an extensive review to modernize and enhance the Noise Control By-law. As a part of the first phase of this multi-year project the City is seeking input from everyone who lives, works or operates a…

View original post 324 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Act by March 30th to oppose Planned Deltaport Berth 4, major impacts on the Fraser River Estuary

Below, we share a message from the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee.




Please submit comments and circulate this information


GCT Deltaport Expansion – Berth Four Project (DP4)

Impact Assessment Agency of Canada

To submit a comment, visit:

The Canadian Impact Assessment Registry at (reference number 81010). Participants who wish to provide their input in a different format can contact the Agency by writing to  

Currently, the federal Cabinet is deciding whether or not to approve the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project which involves dredging and filling 460 acres of the estuary for a man-made island for containers.

Now the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada is seeking public input on yet another proposal at the same location – a fourth container terminal for the existing 3-berth Deltaport Container Terminal at Roberts Bank.

Global Containers Terminals (GCT) Canada Limited Partnership operates the Deltaport 3-berth Container Terminal at Roberts Bank, in the Fraser River Estuary, Delta, B.C.

The company is applying to dredge and build container Berth 4 on the east side of the Roberts Bank Causeway.  The Project includes widening the causeway.

Public Input is invited on two documents:

Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Fraser River estuary ecosystem at risk from unnecessary Roberts Bank Container Terminal 2: Letter to PM Justin Trudeau

This is a copy of a letter from Delta resident Susan Jones to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.


March 2023

Attention: The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada and Cabinet

Unnecessary, Expensive, Roberts Bank Container Terminal 2 ($3.5 billion +)

After 9 years of environmental assessment, the Roberts Bank Container Terminal 2 (RBT2) is before the federal Cabinet.

The Port of Vancouver proposes to build a man-made island and expanded causeway for 3- berth Container Terminal 2 at Roberts Bank, Delta, British Columbia. The project requires dredging and filling in 460 acres1 of the ecologically- important Fraser River estuary.

Endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales     Endangered Salmon      Pacific Flyway Major stopover for Western sandpipers, a shorebird species of concern

No assessment of impact on all 50 species of shorebirds

Canada’s number one Important Bird Area          Lack of peer-reviewed credible scientific studies

Transportation experts, commissioned by the Canadian Government, advised building at Prince Rupert before expanding in Vancouver.2

The Port of Vancouver wants more container real estate as the container business provides 47% of the port’s operating income.3

A TEU is a twenty-foot container equivalent unit.

Vancouver current container business is utilizing 58% of capacity. (around 3.7 million TEUs annually with a capacity of 6.4 million TEUs.)

The Port of Vancouver’s lowest container business forecasts are not being realized.

TEU is a twenty-foot container equivalent unit.

Even the lowest container business forecasts by the Port of Vancouver are not being realized. Over the past 9 years of environmental assessment the Port of Vancouver has consistently lowered the forecasts, and still the lowest forecasts have not been met.

The 2006 lowest forecast of 4.7 million TEUs by 2020 was out by 1.2 million TEUs. That is half of the 2.4 million TEUs the Port claims it needs with RBT2.

The 2016 low forecast of 4.1 million TEUs5 for 2022 has not been met and was out by .6 million TEUs.

The 2020 forecasts6 by the Port of Vancouver show a solid growth line which already is not happening as the TEU total for 2022 was down 3.3%. It has seen slow growth since 2018 (1.2% CAGR since 2018) due to a longer-term trend of container traffic migrating to the Gulf and East Coast ports.7

The graph above shows the faster growth rate at the Port of Prince Rupert. Statistics from graphs are from the ports’ websites.

Slow growth in imports and declining exports

Imported laden containers declined in 2022 by 3.9%. The Compound Annual Growth Rate

(CAGR) of imported laden containers over the past 5 years is 1.8%.

Exported laden containers have been declining since 2014; down 20% in 2022 and down 4.8% (CAGR) since 2014.

The big increase in the Vancouver container business is the export of empty containers, a CAGR increase of 8.2% over 5 years (2017-2022).

In 2022, the export of empty containers was 28% of the Vancouver container business (1,009,647 million TEUs out of 3,557,294). The large increase in empty containers means wasting tight rail capacity to transport empty containers across Canada from the eastern U.S.A. In addition, an increase in trucks carrying empty containers causes serious traffic congestion and slowdown in the Greater Vancouver region. Only 10% of the imports are for the Vancouver region.8

Do we seriously want to trash the Fraser River Estuary to import USA-bound full containers and export empty USA containers?


1 RBT2 EIS, Table 4-1, Volume 1, Section 1, Document # 181, Scrolled page 54/206

2 Strategic Advisors’ Report and Recommendations, Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative,

“1.7 We recommend that policy makers develop container capacity in Prince Rupert before making investments in Vancouver, beyond what have been announced to date. We believe that capacity can be expanded in Prince Rupert relatively quickly and such a strategy will allow time for Vancouver to develop solutions to its congestion.”

3 Reporting, statistics and resources – The Port of Vancouver, 2018 Financial Report, Page 21/58

2018_FinancialReport.pdf (

4 Prince Rupert:Fairview Terminal1.8 million TEUs
 Announced new Terminal2.5 million TEUs
Vancouver:Deltaport3 million TEUs
 Vanterm1.0 million TEUs
 Centerm1.5 million TEUs
 Fraser Surrey Docks0.6 million TEUs
 Total:10.4 million TEUs

Fairview Terminal; Terminal Expansion to 1.8 million TEU Capacity, Prince Rupert Port Authority,

Prince Rupert Port Authority Container Terminal Master Planning Confirms Potential to Develop in Excess of 6 million TEUs of Capacity, May 13, 2019 confirms-potential-to-develop-in-excess-of-6-million-teus-of-capacity-882712274.html

Deltaport: Projections of Vessel Calls and Movements at Deltaport and Westshore Terminals, Deltaport Terminal Road and Rail Improvement Project (DTRRIP), November 28, 2011, pages 21&22 Link – Deltaport-andWestshore-Terminals.pdf

It appears further efficiencies could raise the capacity to 3.2 million TEUs.

Vanterm: “GCT is spending $160 million to densify and modernize GCT Vanterm, which will increase the terminal’s capacity by about 25% — from 835,000 TEUs to over one million TEUs annually.” Link –

Centerm: 1

Fraser Surrey Docks: FSD has capacity for 600,000 TEUs. Container docks in Surrey idle after $190m expansion, Vancouver Sun, June 21, 2006 Link –

5 Forecast Potential Total Port of Vancouver, Ocean Shipping Consultants Report, 2016. Page 119

6 VFPA Volume Forecast, VFPA Long Term Container Forecast: 2020-2060, Drewry, October, 2020, Scrolled pages 115 and 117/122

7 DP World, Port of Vancouver complete $350 M cargo expansion project, Business in Vancouver, Feb. 21, 2023, cargo-expansion-project-6586177

8 Port of Vancouver Public Consultation, Deltaport Terminal Road and Rail Project, (DTRRIP), Dec.10, 2011, Page 6 “The nature of the business is that it is about 10% stays local and 90% goes elsewhere.”

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book (2022 edition)

This is a handy resource for anyone interested in population and housing in the region. For your convenience, we copy the contents list further below.

“The Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book brings together a large collection of regional and municipal level data in order to provide a comprehensive look at the region’s housing market and the people impacted by it. This book is a living document that is updated periodically as new data becomes available. The information included in the current edition is based on data availability at the time of publishing.”

Some of the data points, such as household income by tenure, will be added later in 2023.

All these materials are available on this web page:

Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book 2022 (PDF Version, 163 pages)

Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book 2022 (Interactive Version, online)

​Download this Data (from the link above)
Part 1 Data Tables – Household Profile
Part 2 Data Tables – Housing Stock Profile
Part 3 Data Tables – Ownership Housing
Part 4 Data Tables – Rental Housing
Part 5 Data Tables – Non-Market Housing
Part 6 Data Tables – Housing Need and Homelessness

Subscribe to the Metro Vancouver Regional Planning Mailing List if you would like to be notified when future editions become available.


Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book 2022


1.1. Population by Age
1.2. Households by Tenure
1.3. Households by Family Type
1.4. Households by Age and by Tenure
1.5. Median Household Incomes and Income Thresholds
1.6. Median Household Incomes by Family Type
1.7. Median Household Incomes by Tenure
1.8. Income Distribution for All Households
1.9. Income Distribution for Renter Households
1.10. Income Distribution for Owner Households

2.1. Total Dwellings & Occupied Dwellings
2.2. Occupied Dwellings by Structure Type
2.3. Occupied Dwellings by Tenure and Structure Type
2.4. Housing Starts – Total
2.5. Housing Starts by Structure Type
2.6. Housing Starts by Tenure
2.7. Housing Completions – Total
2.8. Housing Completions by Structure Type
2.9. Housing Completions by Tenure
2.10. Housing Demolitions

3.1. Owner-Occupied Housing Inventory by Structure Type and Age of Building
3.2. Median Values of Owned Homes by Structure Type
3.3. Benchmark Home Sale Prices
3.4. Home Sales
3.5. Home Sales Price to Income Ratio

4.1. Renter-Occupied Housing Inventory by Structure Type and Age of Building
4.2. Primary Rental Market – Inventory by Bedroom Count
4.3. Primary Rental Market – Median Rents by Bedroom Count
4.4. Primary Rental Market – Average Rents of Vacant vs Occupied Units
4.5. Primary Rental Market – Profile of Newly Built Units
4.6. Primary Rental Market – Vacancy Rates
4.7. Secondary Rental Market – Rented Condominiums – Inventory
4.8. Secondary Rental Market – Rented Condominiums – Average Rents by Bedroom Count
4.9. Secondary Rental Market – Rented Condominiums – Vacancy Rates

5.1. BC Housing Non-Market Housing Inventory
5.2. Social Housing Inventory
5.3. Co-operative Housing

6.1. BC Housing Social Housing Waitlist
6.2. Households in Core Housing Need by Tenure
6.3. Households in Core Housing Need by Household Type and by Tenure 148
6.4. Population Living Below Housing Standards by Indigenous Identity and by Tenure
6.5. Homeless Population


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

February 4, 2023 (Sat) is Transit Equity Day. How about it, Metro Vancouver?

Above: A core message of transportation equity, referenced in Litman (2023). Source: Ryan “Equity and Mobility” in Transportation Talk by Ryan Martinson

Looking ahead a week to February 4, 2023, we’d like to draw attention to “Transit Equity Day.”

According to avid transit commentator and analyst Nathan Davidowicz, Transit Equity Day has never been celebrated in Vancouver or British Columbia.

It seems he’s right. Searching around the web, we see some reports and talk of “transit equity” in the local context of Metro Vancouver, but could not find any evidence of mobilization or events organized to mark Transit Equity Day, past or present. The time is in 2023.

This is short notice, but perhaps someone could organize something over the next few days to get a humble start of what could be something that could do a lot of good for the world.

Below we share some excerpts Nathan shared with CityHallWatch (sister site to MetroVanWatch), then eleven key points he wishes to emphasize, and then more web links for further reading and research. These are great resources for further reading.

What is “transit equity”?

“Transit equity is acknowledging that everyone deserves safe, reliable and affordable transportation options… Whether traveling to school, work or the beach, everyone deserves to be able to get around our county. We need to invest in building a more reliable and frequent transportation service.”
Faina Segal, Friends of the Rail and Trail, Santa Cruz.

Across Canada, transportation agencies address social equity concerns in a plethora of diverse ways. However, there is little consensus on how equity should be measured, whether achieving equity through transport policy is a priority, or how equity measures can be incorporated into existing transport evaluation tools such as costs/benefits analysis.

Source: Planning for Transit Equity in the GTHA:
Quantifying the Accessibility-Activity Participation Relationship
for Low-Income Households, report for Metrolinx, by Dr. Steven Farber and Jeff Allen, 29-May-2019.

Transportation equity is a way to frame distributive justice concerns in relation to how social, economic and government institutions shape the distribution of transportation benefits and burdens in society. It focuses on the evaluative standards used to judge the outcomes of policies and plans, asking who benefits from and is burdened by them and to what extent.” 

Source: 2021 International Encyclopedia of Transportation.

“It’s that time of year! Transit Equity Day “season,” where unions, transit rider organizers and climate and environmental justice groups come together to plan actions to take place on February 4, Rosa Park’s birthday, and to declare transit equity as a civil right.”

Source: Web page with map of actions across the United States


Here are some key points from Nathan Davidowicz.  

Translink’s Transport 2050 plan (link) is not equitable and would further widen inequity in Metro Vancouver and the Lower Mainland of B.C.

In Metro Vancouver, transit operations and governance are different from any other place in Canada. While we do not have a racial divide to the extent seen in the United States we do have many equity problems that should be dealt with.

Eleven points:

1. Streamline the operation and governance of TransLink so it is transparent to all citizens. Provide proper appeal mechanisms.

2. Our statistics per capita are way off by a factor of two compared to big cities in Ontario and Quebec. Per capita we are not spending enough money on transit and active transportation.

3. Bus route statistics should be more transparent to allow comparison. Service in Vancouver was better in the 1970s and 80s, when buses on most routes ran every ten minutes or better during the busy hours of 6 am to 9 pm. If we really want more riders, we need to return to the better, more frequent service, and provide a network of express buses like in Toronto.

4. Our Stations are way less accessible and smaller than in other cities.

5. We need a bench and/or a shelter at every bus stop.

6. We need to have bus stops that are placed properly so that everyone is within a short walk (5 minutes or less) of a bus stop.

7. Our 1984-era three-zone fare system is unfair, especially for Vancouver riders. We need a system that provides discounts and exemptions (i.e., FREE Transit) for low-income users, students and seniors.

8. Our HandyDART system for seniors and disabled passengers has been grossly underfunded since Translink took it over from BC Transit in 1999. We need to better accommodate people with disabilities and other special needs.

9. Our Intercity Transit in Canada has been cut back many times by both provincial and federal governments. (More reading:

10. We need to change our thinking about transit and treat it like any other municipal service.

11. Planning decisions should reflect a community’s equity needs and values, so it is important to incorporate public engagement that involves all stakeholders, particularly disadvantaged groups.

And now, we finish up with recommended further reading.

Nathan says we are lucky in British Columbia to have Todd Litman who writes excellent papers on transportation. Two example:

Evaluating Transportation Equity: Guidance for Incorporating Distributional Impacts in Transport Planning, Todd Litman, April 2022, Victoria Transport Policy Institute (VTPI), 7 pages,

Evaluating Transportation Equity: Guidance for Incorporating Distributional Impacts in Transport Planning, Todd Litman, VTPI, 25-Jan-2023, 77 pages,

More links


Montreal Qc, Link:

Transportation Equity, Rafael H. M. Pereira, Alex Karner, 7 pages, link –

Community events slated for Transit Equity Week (Santa Cruz), Jan. 27, 2023. To bolster awareness around issues of transit equity and honor the iconic civil rights advocate Rosa Parks, local nonprofit Equity Transit will celebrate National Transit Equity Day on Saturday with a week of free community events. Mass Transit Magazine.



Above: In California, Santa Cruz County held its first National Transit Equity Day on Feb. 4, 2022, chosen in honor of Rosa Parks’ birthday. See video and content for 2022 here. And they’re all in for 2023 with a whole week of activities.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A “bridge fuel” to nowhere: Should it be left in the ground? (LNG availability, pricing, politics, and misinformation) Peter van der Velden

This piece was submitted by Peter van der Velden. MetroVanWatch has carried several of his previous articles on civic, planning, and environmental affairs. He ran as a mayoral candidate in the October 2022 civic elections for the City of Delta. Among his previous articles is a three-part series on expansion plans for an LNG terminal on Tilbury Island.



Due to the Russia-Ukrainian war there is a shortage of fuel; especially in Europe. Prior to the war there was over-production of LNG with the addition of shale gas (produced through fracking for methane). This created competitive pricing, often below production costs. Countries and corporations are stepping up production as a consequence. As well, Russia will find/expand markets for their gas production.

It is not unreasonable to assume that in post-war conditions there will be no shortage of LNG.

Note: LNG stands for “liquefied natural gas” and that is the commonly used acronym. However, the term “natural” is misleading. The commodity known today as LNG is by no means a “natural” product of “nature” and would more appropriately named “liquefied fossil gas.” It is a fossil fuel.     

The Tilbury Island proposals and the failing business case that supports a “bridge fuel”.

FortisBC has proposed to increase production at its Tilbury Island facility in Delta from 60 tonnes annually by a factor of 174 to 10,460 tonnes annually. Fortis has also applied to build a jetty into the Fraser River to ship LNG to Asia.

The level of ignorance in Delta about the Tilbury LNG plant and the immense proposed increase in production is quite telling. Few people are aware of the facility or how these proposals will affect our future. Sadly our governments are complicit. They want you to believe it is a healthy (‘NATURAL gas’) source of energy and that LNG is a “bridge fuel” to alternative energy sources.

This will not be possible. The investment in this plant will be between 3-5 billion dollars. This means an investment commitment of 20-30 years into what is just another fossil fuel.

Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Climate solutions vs government actions, Part III: Governments are failing us, and they need to hear from YOU (by Peter van der Velden)

This is third and final article dealing with Climate change and the inability of our governments to start dealing with the reality of our changing environmental conditions. Part II is Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s T2 expansion proposal for Delta Container Port and Part I is Fortis expansion proposal for Tilbury Island LNG terminal.


From the federal level to the municipal level our governments are not dealing with our “CLIMATE EMERGENCY.”

In Glasgow at the GOP26 this year Prime Minister Trudeau reaffirmed our commitments made to the Paris Agreement. We committed to making an effort to limit warming to 1.5 C. Few countries including Canada have lived up to stated goals thus far.

The report on climate mitigation from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that limiting global warming to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels this century, is all but out of reach without massive and immediate emissions cuts. 1)

While the overall trend between 1990 and 2020 was an increase in GHG emissions, the emissions were driven primarily by a 74% increase in emissions from oil and gas extraction and a 32% increase in the transport Sector. 2) 3)


“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”-David Attenborough

Nature is also the greatest source of our resources. Up to this point in our existence our use of the material we have extracted from the earth has seen only limited control and marginal success.

Our governments are failing us at almost every level. At a time when Climate Crisis and food and material shortages are at the forefront of the minds of almost everyone our governments are failing to act. Our fisheries are at peril, our forests are burning, farm land is being sold off and our living costs are growing exponentially while record corporate profits are being made. Our governments are failing to move appropriately citing; “the need for world fuel due to the Ukraine war” and “supply chain issues.”

No matter where the prime minister speaks, he advocates our need to do better for the environment but his actions deny any credibility in his statements. The reason we have reached this threshold point is because our governments continue to put the economy before the environment.

Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Climate solutions vs government actions, Part II: Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s T2 expansion proposal for Delta Container Port (by Peter van der Velden)

This is the second in a series of three articles on the environment and how our governments are failing to protect our interests. This article discusses the environmentally damaging issues of the expansion proposals to the Delta container terminal by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA). The third article will cover the continuing government support for hazardous industry and the financial and environmental consequences and costs that affect all of us in BC.


Above: Proposed man-made island housing T2 expansion proposal


For almost 20 years, the VFPA along with the Federal government has been planning the expansion of the container terminal in Delta. This is all a part of a plan to create a vanity port called the “Gateway to the Pacific” and was meant to attract and handle our trade with Asia.

Sadly, in that time, the shipping industry has moved on. Finances are always the driver and it is more economical to ship products from Asia to the Port of Prince Rupert.

Little has changed to the plans for the VFPA expansion in order to adjust to changes in the industry. Part of this is due to the fact that the two port authorities are independent jurisdictions. Other issues are the boards that ‘govern’ ports and the failure of the Federal government to take responsibility over port actions.

A major issue to date at the Federal level was the decision to not allow a damaging assessment from Environment Canada (ECCC) for closing comments to the public inquiry. The ECCC scientists concluded: “Project-induced changes to Roberts Bank constitute an unmitigable species-level risk to western sandpipers, and shorebirds more generally,” and the only way to avoid the impacts “is with a project redesign.” 6).


Due to the fact that the VFPA has never met its projections of container terminal growth, the business case for the proposal is flawed. The VFPA argument that T2 is the answer to the global supply chain is also highly questionable. 9).

The cost to construct this terminal will include the cost to build a man-made island. With a projected total construction cost that has risen from $2Billion to $3.5Billion it will be difficult for this terminal to be competitive.

The shipping time to the Port of Prince Rupert (PRPA) from Asia is two days shorter. As well, the cross-Canada shipping costs are lower from Prince Rupert. As a result, the only growth to the container shipping industry in Vancouver is for local products. This makes the VFPA proposals unnecessary, unnecessarily large and unnecessarily expensive.

Contrary to past VFPA claims, Prince Rupert is expanding their facilities and is capably handling the container growth coming its way. As VFPA projections have never been met, it seems unreasonable to continue planning an expansion of this size to the Delta terminal.

Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Climate solutions vs government actions, Part I: Fortis expansion proposal for Tilbury Island LNG terminal (by Peter van der Velden). Public comments due by 15-Aug.

This is the first in a series of three articles on the environment and how our governments are failing to protect our interests. This article discusses the safety issues of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and expansion proposals to the Fortis Tilbury Island plant located in Delta. The second article will discuss the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) proposal to build a man-made island container terminal expansion to the Delta port. The third article will cover the continuing government support for the fossil fuel industry and the financial and environmental consequences that affect all of us in BC.


Part I Fortis expansion proposal for Tilbury Island LNG terminal

DANGEROUS and environmentally damaging LNG expansion PROPOSALS FOR THE DELTA PLANT


Is it collusion or just parliamentary paralysis? It certainly seems hard to understand. It is difficult to grasp why two senior levels of government are driving the LNG development of BC. At the same time, Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberal party have declared that we are in a “CLIMATE EMERGENCY”.

In the Meantime, the City of Delta appears to be supporting proposals by Fortis to enlarge the current LNG facility at Tilbury Island.

To be sure, Mayor George Harvey has stated that he wants “more information”. It seems the information he is looking for is supportive. Opponents have not been invited to speak directly to the council. Groups have been allowed to speak to the ‘Climate Action and Community Liveability Advisory Committee (CACLAC)’. Sadly, the councillor that chairs the committee has already committed to support the proposals. This negates any value a healthy public discussion might hold.

Dylan Kruger identifying himself to be a Delta councillor wrote to the Environmental Assessment process (EAO) for the Tilbury expansion, stating the following:

“The Tilbury Marine Jetty Project will help advance our climate action goals as we work towards a cleaner and more sustainable environment. LNG is a safe and environmentally responsible energy choice for marine shipping and is an important step towards reducing emissions, air pollutants, and underwater noise.”

These comments could be almost a direct quote from a Fortis presentation and can easily be dismissed as inaccurate. LNG is neither safe nor environmentally responsible.


In his letter Mr. Kruger qualifies his comments with economic support:

“The proposed Tilbury Marine Jetty will provide hundreds of direct and indirect jobs in our community. The construction and completion of this project will generate millions of dollars in economic activity, helping to support British Columbia’s economic recovery while bringing needed jobs and investment to the City of Delta”.

To be sure the LNG industry will create jobs and economic benefits, but at what cost? At each stage of the process, British Columbians will continue to greatly subsidize a corporation that had revenue for the twelve months ending March 31, 2022 of $7.772B, a 12.76% increase year-over-year.

If we have no environment there will be no need for an economy.

Economic reasons are mostly used by all levels of government: The drivers being the economy and jobs. This is not to say these are not important drivers. However, all governments have categorically agreed that we are in a “CLIMATE EMERGENCY”. So far, the issue seems to attract little more than lip-service. Not only is little being done, GHG emissions continue to be underestimated and fossil fuel projects continue to be approved.

Even though we have admitted that we are in a Climate Emergency, Canada, BC and Delta appear to be ‘old school’, locked into continuing development and subsidizing of fossil fuel projects.


Internationally there is agreement, we cannot continue to live as we have if we are to achieve the goals set forth by the Paris agreement. In actual fact, few countries including Canada have lived up to stated goals thus far. 1).

The report on climate mitigation from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that limiting global warming to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels this century, is all but out of reach without massive and immediate emissions cuts. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said at the report’s release that:

“Investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure is moral and economic madness. Such investments will soon be stranded assets, a blot on the landscape, and a blight on investment portfolios.”


In case of any emergency clear measures need to be taken. Measures such as the following:

  • Assess immediate needs and act on immediate needs
  • Define emergency- consult specialists-, break down all issues, define goals
  • Consult stake holders and design a plan to meet those goals
  • Execute the plan
  • Monitor results and learn from-and adjust for-mistakes

Have our governments shown any such measures? The City of Vancouver has started. They have a very active department working on this and are moving ahead with a plan and environmental policies. These are not popular with everyone, but that will always be the case. If you are asking people to change their lives or behaviour it presents hardship. This means there will be difficulties and upset.

We can no longer plan commerce or infrastructure such as the BC LNG industry without applying the appropriate environmental lens. We have an LNG industry that is already doing damage to the environment which we need to curtail. Expanding this industry will not diminish the current damage, only increase the damage. 2).


The original proposal was for 137 ships (annually) to move up and down the Fraser River for the movement of LNG. The newest proposal is to change that number to 365 ships (annually). The additional numbers will be barges carrying 3000 tonnes of LNG from Tilbury to English Bay to fuel ships using Methane/LNG for fuel. This shift in numbers is phenomenal and should require a complete new EAO process. The safety issues alone have not been addressed. It is stated that the fire and spill response will be up to the sub-contractors, affected cities/municipalities. The cities are not prepared, and should not be asked to bear the costs. It would add yet another subsidy to the fossil fuel and shipping industries.

The original number of ships (137) would mean that for 274 days per year there would be a complete shut-down of marine and fishing activity in the Fraser River while these LNG ships move through. Between the Tilbury bend and Sand Heads bend (entering the Strait of Georgia) there are a total of 5 bends. These can only be navigated by one large vessel at a time.


In order to build the jetty and make the river wide enough for these vessels to turn, additional dredging needs to occur. It is not clear how often this will be required. It is stated that this will be once annually but that seems highly unlikely. Each time the river is dredged, the waters become silted and be deleterious to fish habitat further damaging our already fragile ecosystems.

The Fraser is home to the Chinook Salmon. These fish form a large part of the diet for the Southern Resident whales. Chinook stocks have been going down and the Orcas have already shown signs of undernourishment for some time. 3). The jetty proposal does not bode well for the Salmon, the Orcas or the Fraser river.

Above: Graphic of proposed jetty and ship turning radius into the Fraser River


As a part of the EAO process, there is no consideration of up or down stream emissions from the jetty and its activities. This is a HUGE omission. The jetty should be considered a part of the EAO process of the plant expansion as it is instrumental in the export of LNG from Tilbury. The EAO process appears to do little but echo Fortis information. What is needed is an active peer review from scientists independent of the government.

Without a credible environmental assessment how is a proposal to be judged by the public or the governmental agencies involved?

A major source of discontent is that the Senior governments have allowed Fortis to break the proposals up into separate entities so that a full accounting environmental assessment is not required. How can any EAO process succeed with the limitted scope restrictions put in place? This makes any analysis or transparency of the process difficult to qualify. It behooves our governments to change this or the process will be flawed, incomplete, open to litigation and a large waste of time and money.

These are just some of the issues presented by the Jetty proposal. A proposal that is an integral part of the proposals to increase production and storage to the actual plant.


We need to engage a CLIMATE EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN now! We can no longer put it off. Environmentally we all have a responsibility to ensure the future generations health and well being. For this we need strong and determined leadership that cannot be set or defined by corporate interests or senior levels of government.

Currently there is a public comment period for the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO). This focusses on the Marine Jetty to be built as a part of the Tilbury facility in Delta to ship LNG overseas.

Public Comment period is Jul 14 to Aug 15, 2022 (11:59 p.m. PDT).

Please, go to the site and let your comments be heard. It is important that the EAO gets as much public commentary as possible. Our governments and governmental agencies need to be aware that the public is engaged and enraged. We cannot continue to allow these decisions to be made in a vacuum.

“Despite efforts by governments to reduce emissions, most Canadians want to see governments do more. 66% would like to see governments in Canada put more emphasis on reducing emissions.”

-Abacus data October 2021

“Our economy is at war with many forms of life on earth, including human life. What the climate needs, to avoid collapse, is a contraction in humanity’s use of resources; what our economic model demands, to avoid collapse, is unfettered expansion. Only one of these sets of rules can be changed, and it’s not the laws of nature.”

-Naomi Klein




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment