Help orcas and wild Pacific salmon: Deadline TODAY for public input on upgrade to Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant (Metro Vancouver)

CityHallWatch: Tools to engage in Vancouver city decisions

orca in body of water Photo by Andre Estevez on

grayscale photo of body of water Photo by Andre Estevez on

Here is a topic on which more public support could make a big difference for many decades to come. A crucial deadline for public input is today, June 8, 2020. Below we share an e-mail from Celia Brauer, staff member and co-founder of the False Creek Watershed Society. See our previous post on this topic here.

This topic is relevant to everyone in Vancouver and Metro Vancouver, as much of our sewage flows to this treatment plant. Links to extensive reference material are provided further below.

To provide your input into the consultation, please click this link or write a direct e-mail.


E-mail from Celia Brauer, False Creek Watershed Society (

June 3, 2020

Hello Water…

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Important Metro Vancouver online meetings on upgrades to Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant (19+21 May, 2020). You can help orcas and wild Pacific salmon!

Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant, GSA 2020Metro Vancouver’ is holding two online community meetings (same content, one in afternoon, one in evening) on the upgrade to the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 12:00 to 2:00 pm
Thursday, May 21, 2020, 6:30 to 8:30 pm

See the agendas and register online here on Metro Vancouver website.

Why is this important? Much of the sewage and wastewater from Vancouver ends up being treated here before being discharged into the Salish Sea. Your voice can help make it better. Read on!

The meetings are for the Project Definition Phase of the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant Project.

Learn about the design concepts for the new plant and give feedback on community and park integration, and habitat enhancement and resource recovery opportunities. Each meeting will have the same presentations, with time for questions and discussion.

Here is an excerpt from a notice by the Georgia Straight Alliance.

Share how better wastewater treatment can protect the Salish Sea

An upcoming upgrade to Metro Vancouver’s largest wastewater treatment facility, the Iona Island Plant, is presenting an exceptionally rare opportunity to tackle a significant source of pollution to the Salish Sea. The Iona Plant’s outflow is discharged directly into the Salish Sea at the mouth of the Fraser River. Without advanced tertiary treatment, this effluent carries toxic contaminants and microplastics directly into habitat critical for endangered Southern Resident orcas and wild Pacific salmon. These contaminants are known to disrupt the reproductive and developmental health of these iconic species, and it’s vital that we take quick action to reduce the Iona Plant’s impact on the Salish Sea and its inhabitants. Continue reading

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DP World acquires Fraser Surrey Docks

Dubai-based DP World ( issued a press release on 24-Feb-2020, of interest to the Metro Vancouver region. In British Columbia, DP World also owns port facilities in downtown Vancouver and Prince Rupert. Below are a few excerpts of the press release. Please visit the link for full quotes and text.


Fraser Surrey Docks photo DP World web 24-Feb-2020

Fraser Surrey Docks, photo credit DP World

DP World Acquires Fraser Surrey Docks

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 24-Feb-2020
– DP World adds largest multi-purpose deep-sea marine terminal on the West Coast of North America to its portfolio
– DP World and CDPQ’s global investment platform continues its strategic growth.

Vancouver, British Columbia, February 24, 2020 – DP World, the leading enabler of global trade, and one of the world’s largest port operators, announced today it has completed the acquisition of Fraser Surrey Docks from Macquarie Infrastructure Partners (MIP) alongside its partner Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ).

This acquisition complements DP World’s footprint in Canada, which also includes terminal operations in Vancouver, Nanaimo, Prince Rupert and Saint John. The integrated coast-to-coast platform provides customers with bulk, breakbulk and general cargo services.

DP World’s global strategy is to become a trade enabler and solutions provider as the company looks to participate across a wider part of the supply chain. DP World has invested significantly across its Ports, Logistics & Maritime Services businesses. The aim is to connect directly with customers to offer logistics solutions and remove inefficiencies in the supply chain to accelerate trade.

…  Fraser Surrey Docks was founded in the early 1960s and has become the largest modern and multi-purpose terminal on the West Coast of North America. It operates more than 1,200 metres of berth, 189 acres of yard and is one of the region’s major steel import terminals. It moves approximately one million tons of agriproducts annually and serves several container lines, handling over 350,000 TEU in 2019.
Continue reading

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BC Ombudsperson in Metro Vancouver week of Feb 24, 2020, to hear your complaints

BC Ombudsperson in Metro Vancouver soon to hear your complaints
Chris Campbell / Burnaby Now, February 13, 2020

For more information visit


If you feel you been treated unfairly by a provincial or local public organization like ICBC, BC Hydro, a government ministry, or a school district or local municipality, then you now have a place to air your complaint.

TBC Ombudsperson staff will be holding in-person appointments to hear complaints from the public the week of Feb. 24 in Metro Vancouver.

This is a chance for us to hear first-hand from people who have complaints about how they were treated when receiving public services,” said Ombudsperson Jay Chalke, in a news release. “It may be you didn’t receive clear reasons for a decision that impacts you, it could be you feel specific policies or procedures weren’t followed properly, or maybe you’ve experienced a lengthy delay – these are the kinds of areas we may be able to address,” said Chalke.

The Office of the Ombudsperson is independent of government with the legal power to impartially investigate complaints and recommend system improvements that promote fair treatment for all British Columbians. The Ombudsperson has wide-ranging jurisdiction over more than 1,000 public sector bodies. The office receives the most complaints about the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, the Ministry of Children and Family Development and ICBC.

“We encourage anyone who believes they have been treated unfairly to call us. Whether it’s an issue with a small municipality or a large complex government ministry, let us know if something has gone wrong and we’ll see if we can help make it right.” said Chalke.

To make an in-person appointment, call 1-800-567-3247. Complaints can also be made by phone, mail, fax, online or in-person at the Ombudsperson’s Victoria office – 947 Fort Street. For more information visit

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Opinion: TransLink SkyTrain Business Case Hoax – letter sent to PM & Premier on SkyTrain to UBC proposal

CityHallWatch: Tools to engage in Vancouver city decisions

Arbutus to UBC SkyTrain map 2020 This proposed costly Arbutus to UBC Skytrain extension to UBC is definitely NOT supported by everyone.

CHW obtained a copy of this letter from Malcom Johnston, a 35-year advocate for user friendly, cost effective transit), sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others, before Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart headed to Ottawa seeking federal money for a “SkyTrain to UBC” as announced in Jan 29 joint media event (reported here).  At the media event, the Mayor said is next task was to raise money to study the business case for SkyTrain to UBC.


“TransLink SkyTrain Business Case Hoax”

[Sent 3-Feb-2020 to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Federal Minister of Transport Marc Garneau, BC Premier John Horgan, BC Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena, and BC Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson.]

“It is interesting how TransLink has used this cunning method of manipulating analysis to justify…

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Metro Vancouver’s 14 standing committees: Members announced for 2020

Metro Vancouver issue 59 committees

Image credit: Metro Vancouver newsletter

Who’s who and who’s doing what at our Metro Vancouver regional body, representing about 2.5 million people in the region’s 21 member municipalities, one electoral area, and one treaty First Nation? Here is information from the January newsletter of Metro Vancouver about the 14 standing committees, which meet regularly at the headquarters in Burnaby. We encourage interested citizens and groups to check their meeting agendas and minutes, regularly, attend from time to time, and communicate their interests and concerns to the committees.



  • Climate Action: Chair Adriane Carr (Councillor, City of Vancouver); Vice Chair Sav Dhaliwal (Councillor City of Burnaby and Chair, Metro Vancouver)
  • Electoral Area: Chair Jen McCutcheon (Director, Electoral Area A); Vice Chair David Hocking (Councillor, Bowen Island)
  • Finance and Intergovernment: Chair Linda Buchanan (Mayor, City of North Vancouver and Vice Chair, Metro Vancouver); Vice Chair Sav Dhaliwal (Councillor, City of Burnaby and Chair, Metro Vancouver)
  • Housing: Chair Mike Hurley (Mayor, City of Burnaby); Vice Chair Mike Morden (Mayor, City of Maple Ridge)
  • Indigenous Relations: Chair Mary-Ann Booth (Mayor, City of West Vancouver); Vice Chair Ken Baird (Chief, Tsawwassen First Nation)
  • Industrial Lands Strategy Task Force: Chair George Harvie (Mayor, City of Delta); Vice Chair Brad West (Mayor, City of Port Coquitlam)
  • Liquid Waste: Chair Richard Stewart (Mayor, City of Coquitlam); Vice Chair Lisa Dominato (Councillor, City of Vancouver)
  • Mayors: Chair Kennedy Stewart (Mayor, City of Vancouver); Vice Chair Doug McCallum (Mayor, City of Surrey)
  • Performance and Audit: Chair Sav Dhaliwal (Councillor, City of Burnaby and Chair, Metro Vancouver); Vice Chair Malcolm Brodie (Mayor, City of Richmond)
  • Regional Culture: Chair Val van den Broek (Mayor, City of Langley); Vice Chair Linda McPhail (Councillor, City of Richmond)
  • Regional Parks: Chair John McEwen (Mayor, Village of Anmore); Vice Chair Michael Wiebe (Councillor, City of Vancouver)
  • Regional Planning: Chair Jonathan Coté (Mayor, City of New Westminster); Vice Chair Jack Froese (Mayor, Township of Langley)
  • Water: Chair Malcolm Brodie (Mayor, City of Richmond); Vice Chair Doug Elford (Councillor, City of Surrey)
  • Zero Waste: Chair Jack Froese (Mayor, Township of Langley); Vice Chair Craig Hodge (Councillor, City of Coquitlam)

The complete listing of Board and Committee members is available here –

[Link goes to Board Members, Committee Members, Electoral Area A Board of Variance, and Remuneration]

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Consultation begins on Metro 2050 – An update of Metro 2040 Regional Growth Strategy

Important information from Metro Vancouver. Consultation is beginning now for Metro 2050, an update to Metro 2040, the regional growth strategy. This is crucial time for community groups and residents/neighbourhood associations to keep an eye on what happens at the whole regional level. Below is a copy of the online notice. Stay tuned for dates.

Metro Vancouver Metro 2050 map image


Two key links:


Metro Vancouver is updating Metro 2040, the regional growth strategy. Since its adoption in 2011, Metro Vancouver 2040: Shaping our Future has been a strong and effective tool representing the region’s collective vision for managing growth in the region.

The update is being undertaken to extend the regional growth strategy to the year 2050, to consider significant drivers of change, to integrate with Transport 2050 (TransLink’s new Regional Transportation Strategy), and to implement policy improvements in a number of areas.

Metro Vancouver is committed to working in close collaboration with member jurisdictions, TransLink, the Province, adjacent regional districts, and other regional agencies throughout the update to Metro 2040. The updated strategy, anticipated to be completed in 2022, will be called Metro 2050.


The update to Metro 2040 will take place over three phases between 2019 and 2022.


Reviewing Metro 2040 through a series of Policy Reviews by subject area to identify any gaps and opportunities, and set a direction through vision & principles.   Initial consultation underway.


Work with member jurisdictions to refine and add detail to a set of recommended policy changes and draft Metro 2050 content.

PHASE 3: APPROVALS (MID 2021-2022)

Seek acceptance from affected local governments and TransLink & final approval from the Metro Vancouver Regional District Board. Continue reading

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Public hearings for Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project – May 14 to June 24, 2019: Schedule and reading

Terminal-2-tanker Common Ground April 2019

Image courtesy of Common Ground. See below for link to article.

Here is an excerpt of an e-mail from the Review Panel Secretariat for the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project, followed by a special independent supplement in Common Ground, and Action in Time, by Paul George & Susan Jones, entitled “Secret purpose of proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 revealed.”


Hearing Schedule for Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project Public Hearing (e-mail 6-May-2019)

Dear Participants,

The schedule of presentations for the Public Hearing for the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project (the Project) is now available. The hearing will begin at 9am, Tuesday, May 14, 2019, in Delta, British Columbia.

The schedule is posted to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry at: (CEAR #1691).

The hearing is open to the public to observe in person or via a live webcast and/or audio-cast at:

You may consult the full public notice here:

All documents related to the environmental assessment of the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project, are available on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry at:

You are receiving this message as a member of the distribution list for the environmental assessment of the Project. If you would prefer not to receive emails regarding the environmental assessment, please send a message to

Review Panel Secretariat, Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project
c/o Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
22nd Floor, 160 Elgin St. Ottawa ON K1A 0H3
Tel: 1-866-582-1884


In Common Ground April 2019

Secret purpose of proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 revealed

A special independent supplement originally published by Action In Time
– by Paul George & Susan Jones –

Massive manmade island oil terminal planned for Fraser River estuary Continue reading

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Time to rethink Tsawwassen road access before more development in Southlands and downtown (by Peter van der Velden)

Tsawwassen Google satellite view Mar 2019 - RED LINE

Google Maps image with red line showing 56th Street in Tsawwassen

Intro: In this article Peter Van der Velden points out density, and transportation challenges facing Tsawwassen as big new proposals come forward for residential and commercial developments. He points out that Tsawwassen is isolated from the rest of Metro Vancouver in terms of geography and transportation services, looks at the impacts of proposed developments on road traffic on the main access road into town, and concludes with several recommendations for policy makers. 


Time to rethink Tsawwassen road access before more development in Southlands and downtown (by Peter van der Velden)


As with all communities in Metro Vancouver, Delta is experiencing growth. Decisions by council have been made for densification and two large developments of 900+ units are under way in the Ladner and Tsawwassen area.

It’s always interesting to see where people place themselves in community discussions around these issues. The reality is that most of us are interested in community well-being as well as general quality of life. Naturally, how we qualify or achieve those issues is where we tend to differ. And that can become the basis of disagreement.

The development of residential as well as industrial plans are putting stress on farmland in Canada’s finest climate zone. This is cause for interesting dialogue in the community. There are people that support growth and naturally there are those that oppose the growth, or, at least, the speed of this growth.

Growth brings with it all manner of issues not the least of which is infrastructure needs, cost and adequacy. Are there enough schools, is policing adequate and will the road system, sewer and water supply handle the new requirements?

Similarly, growth can be seen as beneficial. Business looks forward to the possibility of expansion and a successful growth of the supply of goods and services. A strong economy can sustain a community through hard times. It can support employment and community facilities which all add to quality of life.

Business in downtown Tsawwassen and Ladner has been hurt by the build up of the new Tsawwassen Mills Mall. As a result, Council is more seriously looking at densification to assist local businesses to improve commerce in these two areas of Delta.

In terms of traffic infrastructure this brings about a serious concern for both Ladner and Tsawwassen.

Recent development in Ladner has caused serious parking problems along 47th Street. Visibility at intersections has become difficult as a result. This will continue to get worse. For both pedestrians and vehicles, it will be the cause of accidents and frustration and affect quality of life. All of these ‘symptoms’ are created by ‘growth’. However, growth as such does not present progress.


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Deadline 3-Dec-2018 (Mon) for public input on Ports Modernization Review by federal government: Key concerns

PortBanner Ports Moderniation Review credit GoC Nov 2018Transport Canada wants to hear from key partners and stakeholders, including Canada Port Authorities, Indigenous groups, provincial and municipal governments, industry; academia and experts; and associations/groups that have a particular interest in port activities.” (Image and caption credit: Transport Canada website)

The ports around Metro Vancouver have a huge impact on transportation, road and marine traffic, the environment, employment, farmland, and the quality of life. It is important that the public provide input into this review process. Many aspects of the  Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) are invisible to the public, but this material below sheds a lot of light on things.

Susan Jones of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee has done a huge amount of research and work on these topics. Below we share text on recommended points to make in public input, plus a copy of the BBCC’s detailed submission to the Port Modernization Review.

Here is just a gist of some of the points:

  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) needs to be regulated and managed by the federal government as it currently operates without any credible accountability.
  • The federally-appointed Board of Directors is chosen from business interests. There is effectively no representation of local, social, environmental or indigenous issues.
  • The current mandate of the VFPA should be terminated as it has transformed port management into an unaccountable corporation working against the public interest.
  • … Currently, without public input, millions of federal tax dollars are used to provide port infrastructure, some which creates traffic congestion and gridlock, as well as inappropriate use of public lands.
  • There is a LOT more. Please read on, and remember …

Please Act Now! Deadline: December 3, 2018


Notice about Ports Modernization Review

The federal government is undertaking a Port Modernization Review and the deadline for public input is Monday December 3rd.

Please make a submission by either:

Sending an email to:


More complicated: Visit the following link, register, add comments and/or make a submission.

Further below is text of a submission by the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee.

Points you may wish to consider when urging reform of the management of Canadian Ports: Continue reading

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