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.
This is a copy of a letter from Delta resident Susan Jones to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
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’snumberoneImportantBirdArea 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?
“1.7 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
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.”
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.
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
CONTENTS INTRODUCTION REPORT HIGHLIGHTS
PART 1 – HOUSEHOLD PROFILE Highlights 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
PART 2 – HOUSING STOCK PROFILE Highlights 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
PART 3 – OWNERSHIP HOUSING Highlights 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
PART 4 – RENTAL HOUSING Highlights 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
PART 5 – NON-MARKET HOUSING Highlights 5.1. BC Housing Non-Market Housing Inventory 5.2. Social Housing Inventory 5.3. Co-operative Housing
PART 6 – HOUSING NEED AND HOMELESSNESS Highlights 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
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.”
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
LNG AVAILABILITY, PRICING, POLITICS AND MISINFORMATION
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.
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.
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.
CLIMATE SOLUTION VS GOVERNMENTS ACTIONS, PART II: VFPA EXPANSION PROPOSAL FOR THE DELTA CONTAINER PORT. (by Peter van der Velden)
Above: Proposed man-made island housing T2 expansion proposal
GOVERNMENT OBFUSCATION AND GOVERNMENT FAILURE TO ACT
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).
THE ECONOMY, THE SHIPPING INDUSTRY AND A FAILING BUSINESS CASE
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.
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.
WE ARE NOT A PART OF CLIMATE SOLUTION. OUR GOVERNMENTS ARE FAILING US.
Part I Fortis expansion proposal for Tilbury Island LNG terminal
DANGEROUS and environmentally damaging LNG expansion PROPOSALS FOR THE DELTA PLANT
GOVERNMENT OBFUSCATION OR GOVERNMENT INACTION
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.
THE LNG INDUSTRY IN BC-THE ECONOMY-OR THE ENVIRONMENT
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.
INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE
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.”
CLIMATE CHANGE OR CLIMATE EMERGENCY
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 TILBURY JETTY PROPOSAL
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.
EFFECTS OF THE JETTY ON THE FRASER RIVER
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.”
One of the best-kept secrets in the Metro Vancouver region today, April 20, 2022, is that an important Public Hearing will be held tonight, starting at 6 pm on METRO 2050, the Metro Vancouver Regional District Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) Bylaw No. 1339, 2022.
The Public Hearing is of major significance, as the final chance for the 2.8 million residents of 21 municipalities, one electoral district, and one First Nation, to provide input to elected officials prior to the intended adoption of METRO 2050 this July. Then, it is expected to guide and regulate many aspects of urban development for the next 28 years to 2050 (and beyond). The implications of the RGS are vast – affecting housing development (which by nature affects construction, demolition, displacement, infrastructure, taxes, livability, and the look and feel of our communities), transit and mobility (which affects billions of dollars of public money), employment (vastly important), ecological and agricultural lands (ditto), impact on climate and impacts of climate change, and much, much more. See official explanatory and promotional materials here – http://www.metrovancouver.org/metro2050.
But perhaps it’s no surprise that this Public Hearing, and probably METRO 2050 itself, is known only to a small number of people.
We have just noticed that the sole piece of correspondence published as of today (April 20) with the agenda package, as correspondence received by Metro Vancouver for the Public Hearing, covers significant concerns deserving further scrutiny.
The civic watcher (Roderick Louis) has carefully studied the official documentation and concludes that Metro Vancouver has failed to involve the public, notify the public, notify the media, and consult with specific key stakeholders (including boards of education across the region, B.C. ministry of Education and Child Care, police departments, RCMP, B.C.’s Solicitor General and Attorney General ministries).
Guess what! Metro Vancouver regional body (formerly Greater Vancouver Regional District, or GVRD) is holding a Public Hearing on the evening of Wednesday, April 20, 2022. It is of high significance. The one and only public hearing to provide the Metro Vancouver region’s 2.8 million residents a chance to speak to elected officials at the regional level about a bylaw that is intended to guide urban development for the next 28 years to 2050 in the region’s 21 municipalities, UBC Endowment Lands, and Tsawwassen First Nation. Implications are huge. Planners say another million people will be living here by then.
Just for the record, here is a full tally of all the media coverage we could find in a search of Google News with the search terms “Metro 2050” and “Public Hearing,” to capture any coverage on this important meeting.
These outlets and reporters are the ones the public…