APE - Against Port Expansion in Delta, BC
Say NO to Roberts Bank Terminal 2
Watch Video To See Why!
APE - Against Port Expansion in Delta, BC
Say NO to Roberts Bank Terminal 2
Watch Video To See Why!
Latest News

Against Port Expansion in the Fraser Estuary BC

APE (Against Port Expansion in the Fraser Estuary BC) is a group of concerned citizens who recognize that plans for container terminal expansion on Roberts Bank (RBT2) will see the loss of globally-significant wetlands and habitat (classified as a Globally Significant Important Bird and Biodiversity Area - IBA) for migratory birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, salmon, herring, crabs and orca whales; degradation of the quality of life for thousands of Lower Mainland residents; and the industrialization of prime agricultural land.

 
 

New Science Supports Environment Canada Scientists - T2 will decimate Roberts Bank

A new peer-reviewed study, by internationally recognized experts in wetland ecology, (now published in Frontiers in Marine Science in relation to the importance of biofilm for the breeding migration of Shorebirds) has confirmed what Environment Canada scientists have been saying all along. The ecosystem integrity of Roberts Bank risks being destroyed by further port development.

Read the new study here

Frontiers_in_Marine_Science_Intertidal_Biofilm_Frb_2020.pdf

The choice is very clear. Let the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority build a second container terminal on Roberts Bank and watch one of the richest and most important ecosystems for migrant and wintering waterbirds in Canada be destroyed. Or protect this important stopover site on the Pacific Flyway by preventing any further port or industrial development on Roberts Bank.  

Throughout the environmental assessment of the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project (RBT2) these Environment Canada scientists have battled the Port Authority’s partisan non-peer reviewed science that has sought to downplay the environmental impacts. The fear has been that the Port Authority’s influence in Ottawa would override Environment Canada concerns. 

No longer. This new study, on the importance of biofilm for the breeding migration of shorebirds, validates the work done by Environment Canada scientists. They were right all along. If RBT2 is built it is likely to result in the significant degradation of one of the most important ecosystems, in terms of birds and biodiversity, in the whole of North America. As the scientists have repeatedly said, RBT2 will result in significant adverse environmental effects that cannot be mitigated.

When the Review Panel report is published - expected in a matter of weeks - the Minister of Environment will need to address two questions:
1. Will RBT2 result in significant adverse environmental impacts that cannot be mitigated? Clearly the answer is YES.
2. Is RBT2 in the national interest, sufficient to override the environmental issues that would result if RBT2 were built? That answer is a definite - NO. 

Will Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson do the right thing? Will he live up to the government’s commitment to protect internationally recognized wetlands? Or will he bow to the Port Authority’s desire for a new container terminal, even though there is no business case?

Write to him at ec.ministre-minister.ec@canada.ca and tell him to reject the Roberts Bank Container Terminal 2 project.




War on Science - Alive and Well in Ottawa

 
On Oct. 26 2018 a community group submitted an Access to Information Request to Ottawa trying to uncover political interference in the science surrounding the Environmental Assessment of the proposed Container Terminal 2 on Roberts Bank in Delta BC.

You will not be surprised to learn that over 400 days later still nothing has been received.
 
In August 2019 scientists with Environment and Climate Change Canada submitted their final report to Ottawa on the Environmental Assessment, citing significant adverse environmental effects that cannot be mitigated if Terminal 2 is built. The report was intended for the federally appointed Environmental Assessment Panel. It never reached them. Someone, somewhere in Ottawa decided to suppress that report. Contrast that with the final report from a Crown Agency - the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority - which got through to the Panel unscathed. Why, because of course its paid-for non-peer reviewed science says there is no problem. If that raises questions for you it should. Why is the muzzling selective? Why is it that the science promoting the new terminal gets through to the Panel, yet that of Environment Canada, the federal regulators, does not? Is there someone in Ottawa that is determined to get T2 built regardless of any environmental issues, and so is preventing the Panel from seeing any scientific facts that raise environmental concerns? Sure looks that way.

Roberts Bank is world renowned as a site of international significance for the conservation of the world’s birds and other wildlife. Roberts Bank is recognized as a globally Important Bird and Biodiversity Area by a number of national and international  organizations, . Building Terminal 2 on Roberts Bank will degrade this world class ecosystem. It has the potential to drive some species to extinction. It risks further depletion of salmon stocks. It puts the already endangered Orcas at even more risk. Millions of migratory and other shorebirds rely on Roberts Bank as a critical food source. Building T2 risks depleting that food source.

Does anybody in Ottawa care?  Do federal agencies or the Port Authority care? It seems not.

National and International organizations care. Birdlife International, Birds Canada, BC Nature, Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network - they all care. They have all stated that Terminal 2 on Roberts Bank must not be built.

Do you care?
If you do write to the Minister of Environment Jonathan.Wilkinson@parl.gc.ca

Find out more by watching this short video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IrQXoGoGjM
and visit Birdlife International Important Bird Areas in Danger 
and scroll down to find the Fraser Delta.

 

SEVEN THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT RBT2

SEVEN THINGS WE KNOW ABOUT 
ROBERTS BANK TERMINAL 2 (RBT2)
AND CAN PROVE

1. The internationally recognized Roberts Bank ecosystem is critical for wildlife on a massive scale.

2. Environment Canada scientists and independent experts believe any further port development on Roberts Bank risks significant adverse environmental effects that will be immediate, continuous and cannot be mitigated.

3. Environment Canada scientists have been muzzled by Ottawa and prevented from fully explaining their concerns to the RBT2 Environmental Assessment Panel.

4. The RBT2 proponent, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority – a crown agency – has discredited and disparaged Environment Canada scientists.

5. The RBT2 Environmental Assessment Panel has refused to consider alternatives to RBT2 that are safer, less environmentally damaging and will cost less than half to develop.

6. With current west coast Canada container capacity expansions already underway there is neither need nor business case for RBT2 for many years to come.

7. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority,  confident that RBT2 will be approved, is already going to tender for the RBT2 developer and operator, even before the Panel renders its decision.

You can find more detail and information on these topics by reviewing the other news items and the information about RBT2 on our website. 

Please email  if you have questions to info@againstportexpansion.org

Air Pollution - Does Port of Vancouver Care?

Are you aware of the recent report on air pollution/quality and the prime cause - diesel polluting trucks. 


For several days in November there was  an air quality advisory for Metro Vancouver. 
This topic was covered extensively on CBC’s Quirks and Quarks program. 


As reported the study looked at major highways in Canada,
It found serious air pollution and health issues.

Why is it a problem for folks living in Delta - because of the largo volume of diesel polluting tractor-trailers, the majority of which are hauling containers to or from Roberts Bank and associated warehousing and logistics facilities in Delta, Richmond and elsewhere. 
There has been much research of this problem over the years. The Moving Forward Conference in Los Angeles has researched air pollution in the Los Angeles area near major ports. Medical professionals explained the seriousness of this pollution. PM 2.5 spewed out by heavy emitting trucks is part of but not totally the problem. These trucks also emit ultrafine particles and black carbon, not only from their exhausts but from break linings and tires as they wear. This PM 2.5 and ultrafine particles are taken deep down into the lung and cause serious health issues. 

Major truck routes that transit Delta include Deltaport Way, Highways 17, 17a, 91 and 99. Add to that secondary truck routes, such as Highway 10 and 64th and you can realize we have a major pollution problem right here in Delta. These port trucks pass close by schools, residential areas and hospitals. Deltaport today has 3700 truck transits per day. Add to that many more truck transits involving container moves to/from logistics centres - at least another 2000 per day - and we can clearly see the extent of the Port truck pollution problem. And all that is without the truck traffic chaos and further air pollution that would result if Roberts Bank Terminal 2 (RBT2) is ever built. 

This issue needs addressing now by the federal government. It has been left to grow and fester far too long. Transport Canada has the power to deal with this pollution issue. Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) is an agency reporting to Transport Canada. The hands off attitude of the Transport minister in the federal government has got to stop. We expect Transport Canada to get involved:
  • Require VFPA to implement short haul rail and short sea shipping immediately and reduce the number of port truck trips. 
  • Recognize that RBT2 is a non starter. The air pollution issue of itself should be enough to stop RBT2, let alone the other huge negative environmental impacts. 
  • Block any VFPA plans for further container terminal expansion in Metro Vancouver (beyond what is already in progress) and instead place that expansion in Prince Rupert.

This issue was not properly dealt with by the CEAA RBT2 Environmental Assessment Panel. Why? Because the VFPA successfully impeded the Panel terms of reference by ensuring that the Panel was not permitted to investigate anything beyond the RBT2 footprint. This was and is disgusting, yet another example of how this port authority has disdain for the residents of Delta and other lower mainland residents. 

The re-elected Liberal government says it is serous about addressing climate change and environmental issues. Regardless of whatever the Panel recommends, RBT2 must be abandoned. Canadians’ health is more important than building an ego-driven second container terminal that is environmentally damaging and has no business case. 

Write the MP for Delta - Carla.qualtrough.CIC@parl.gc.ca - and tell her you want her to take up this air pollution/quality issue as a high priority.