On the headlined topic, we received the following compilation of materials from Susan Jones at the end of May 2017, and provide it for readers here, with permission. She quotes official documents and other materials obtained through FOI inquiry, and then provides her own insightful commentary which we indicate with blue italics.
The revelations described here undermine the provincial government’s “justification” for building the proposed new bridge over the Fraser to replace the Massey Tunnel. Implications are in the billions of dollars.
- 2017-05-25 Port Van, Backgrounder, Fraser River Future Trade
- 2017-05-25 Port Van, Media Release, Fraser Port no plans river dredging
Attached is a surprising Press Release from Port of Vancouver.
“The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority announced today that it has no plans to further deepen the Fraser River to accommodate larger vessels as it, together with existing marine terminal properties and port industrial lands, can sufficiently handle Canada’s trade for the foreseeable future.”
This is an astonishing turnabout from the Port of Vancouver as the Port worked with the BC Government for 3 years in planning the replacement of the George Massey Tunnel with a massive bridge. Freedom of Information documents disclose communications about dredging the river and clearance requirements for larger shipping vessels up the south arm of the Fraser River.
Fraser Surrey Docks, which operates under the Port of Vancouver Authority, lobbied to get federal support for deeper dredging of the Fraser. Jeff Scott, President and CEO of Fraser Surrey Docks, met with the federal Deputy Minister of Finance on February 28, 2013 to discuss expansion plans for Fraser Surrey Docks. A Memorandum prepared for the Deputy Minister stated:
“Fraser Surrey Docks is currently operating below capacity. Its location on the Fraser River limits it ability to service the larger, deep-draft vessels that are becoming the norm in container and bulk export markets…
The company has developed a proposal providing for the large scale dredging of the Fraser River in order to accommodate larger vessels (dredging is limited to a depth of 13.5 metres due to the George Massey Tunnel that runs underneath the Fraser River). The proposal was presented in late 2012 to the federal Ministers and officials including the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Clerk of the Privy Council, and the Deputy Minister and Assistant Deputy Minister (Policy) at Transport Canada. Fraser Surrey Docks recommends the costs of dredging (estimated at $180 million and $250 million over 5 years) be shared equally between the federal government, Port Metro Vancouver and the company. … the port assumes that the existing tunnel will be replaced by a bridge or a deeper tunnel that would not constrain navigation.”
The Gateway Transportation Collaboration Forum also includes deeper dredging of the Fraser in their list of future projects.
The Gateway Transportation Collaboration Forum includes: Transport Canada, B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) Translink, Greater Vancouver Gateway Council (GVGC), and Port Metro Vancouver.
March 31, 2015 Report on: Gateway Transportation Collaboration Forum website. https://delta.civicweb.net/document/119735
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