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.
NOW THE PANEL REPORT IS OUT, WE NEED YOUR HELP. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CABINET NOW HAS TO DECIDE WHETHER TO APPROVE RBT2. SIGN TNE PETITON TO TELL THEM TO DENY APPROVAL
This is a new petition. Here in the link:
See what others are doing to stop RBT2:
Natural Legacies versus Waste
Delta Council Votes to Oppose RBT2
Just last week the City of Delta voted to oppose RBT2 and to write the Prime Minister asking him to reject the Port of Vancouver's proposed second container terminal on Roberts Bank. Here is the Delta Optimist's report of that decision:
The Port was not thrilled, but Delta has since received a lot of support for the stand it is taking.
The Decision on Roberts Bank Terminal 2 – Next Steps.
We know from comments made by Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) CEO Robin Silvester and Vice President Duncan Wilson, as well as other credible sources, that Ottawa is about to release “Draft Conditions” for Roberts Bank Terminal 2 for First Nations consultation and public comment.
What does that mean?
The Impact Assessment Agency Canada (previously known as the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency) is the lead agency and has been working with various government ministries to develop a document detailing conditions under which RBT2 might be approved. It appears VFPA staff has been “helping” in developing these draft conditions. Indications are that federal bureaucrats have been scrambling to come up with a host of soft conditions so RBT2 can be put across as having no immitigable environmental effects.
Therefore, we now expect the draft conditions may include:
- Untested ways in which the negative environmental effects from RBT2 might be mitigated, including the high quality biofilm on Roberts Bank that is an irreplaceable food source for millions of migratory and other shorebirds as well as other wildlife.
- Identifying other areas where biofilm exists without regard to shorebird needs and hypothetical methods in which biofilm can be created, perhaps with the assistance of First Nations.
- Further steps to protect the already endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales, by, for example, more vessel speed limitations as well as attempts to reduce vessel (propeller) noise.
- Increased steps to protect Chinook salmon stocks.
- Generic ways to protect migratory birds especially Western Sandpipers.
- Initiatives for monitoring effects and further research as the project progresses – all after the horse has left the stable.
- Fisheries Act authorization, which it appears VFPA has already applied for.
All this is leading up to providing the Environment Minister with information to aid in his decision-making.
The Decision – to be made by November 23 2020
The Minister is on record as stating “My decision will be also be based on science, facts and evidence, informed by meaningful indigenous consultation and serve the public interest”. He must make a determination as to whether RBT2 is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. Given the Panel Report statements this may well be the case. If so, the Minister must refer it to the Governor in Council (federal cabinet) to determine whether the effects are justified in the circumstances. This is where these draft conditions then become important. The Transport Minister and perhaps other cabinet members will certainly be pushing for approval subject to the conditions. And VFPA will definitely state that they will abide by all of them, even though history shows that in practise some will be later watered down or ignored all together.
In parallel with this the BC Environmental Assessment Office will conduct its own assessment, using five pillars for evaluating the potential adverse effects of RBT2, namely the environmental, economic, social, heritage, and health effects that may occur during the life of the project. However, it appears BC will not make a decision until after the Federal decision is announced.
Actions to take now - before it is too late
- Write your MP https://www.ourcommons.ca/members/en asking them to oppose RBT2 on environmental grounds.
- Write to the Environment Minister email@example.com opposing RBT2.
- Write your MLA asking them to oppose RBT2 on environmental grounds.
- Ask the Metro Vancouver Board to oppose RBT2.
- Urge local groups that you belong to oppose RBT2.
- Write letters to newspapers and engage the media.
Once these draft conditions are made public, watch for a vigorous scientific review and comment from environmental groups. We are not going to allow the government to trade-off the huge negative ecological effects for an unnecessary second container terminal on Roberts Bank.
Review Panel Report on RBT2 Fails to Meet Legal Requirements
Susan Jones on behalf of the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee has written to both the Federal and Provincial Governments identifying crtical gaps in the RBT2 Panel Report.
Read the letter here:
Wrtie Your MP - Stop RBT2
Do you want to STOP RBT2?
The federal politicians need to hear from you, their constituents. If you live in:
- North Vancouver – contact Jonathan Wilkinson - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Burnaby – contact Terry Beech - Terry.Beech@parl.gc.ca
- Vancouver – contact - Joyce Murray email@example.com
- Delta – contact Carla Qualtrough - Carla.Qualtrough.C1A@parl.gc.ca
- Fisheries Minister - contact Bernadette Jordan - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Infrastructure Minister - contact Catherine McKenna - email@example.com
What are they meeting about? Likely about biofilm, a very thin slimy substance that coats the surface of the mudflats of Roberts Bank and plays a key role in making its ecosystem hugely productive for the wildlife that relies on it especially, migratory shorebirds and in particular the Western Sanpiper. That biofilm and its unique properties is crucial to the birds very survival and yet these rich mudflats on Roberts Bank risk being decimated by RBT2.
Scientific American - RBT2 Threatens Migratory Birds
Will the federal government rely on science and facts in its decison on the Port of Vancouver's proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project?
That is the stark choice. Does the government rely on Environment Canada science, supported by independent peer-reviewed scientists who are respected internatinally? Or do they accept the Port's paid for science, which has never been peer-reviewed and is not supported by any sicentists or science-based organizations that are indpendent of (i.e. not paid for or under contract to) the Port. There is nothing wrong with the Port's data. It is the self-serving manner in which they have interpreted it. They decided on the answer that they wanted from the science and them twisted interpretation of the data to get the results that they needed. They then compounded that error by suggesting that the biofilm that the project will destroy can be "created". This despite the fact there are no expamples of "biofilm creation" of the size and magnitiude of what the Port is suggesting. Even the Federal Review Panel stated that :
"There exists considerable uncertainty around the possibility that loss of productive biofilm habitat could be mitigated by the large-scale re-creation of biofilm habitat capable of supporting shorebirds, including appropriate bottom sediment characteristicsand salinity conditions."
The latest issue of Scientific American carries an article about Roberts Bank:
"Slimy mudflat biofilm feeds migratory birds - and could be threatened."
The independent science is overwhelming. The scientific perspectives expressed in the article state what has been said many times over by scientists independent of the Port of Vancouver
The federal government can no longer ignore the obvious. Roberts Bank must be protected from any further industrial/port development. If the current government is serious about protecting important wetlands then it must deny approval for the the container terminal project.
To do otherwise will bring Canada international embarrassment and condemnation. Roberts Bank by the way is a Ramsar wetlands site of international importance and the Port project would degrade that site. Canada is a signatory to this UN treaty. It needs to uphold the treaty’s values and say no to Roberts Bank Terminal 2.
Please tell Minister Wilkinson at email firstname.lastname@example.org to listen to science and deny approval of RBT2.
Need help with a letter? Here is a word version ready for you to send, or amend as you wish: