Port Urged to Halt Coal Export Expansion
City of Vancouver calls on Port Metro Vancouver to delay decisions on coal export expansion.
In a letter delivered December 3rd, Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver expressed his concern to Port Metro Vancouver CEO Robin Silvester that regional residents and businesses have not been properly consulted regarding two proposed significant expansions to regional coal exports. In the letter the Mayor asks the Port Authority to clarify its commitment to public consultation and expresses his hope that no decision will be made prior to community input.
Port Metro Vancouver has sole authority to approve these coal export plans. Currently, no public hearings or external approvals are required prior to a decision. While the Port Authority has sent letters to port neighbours, nearby municipalities and First Nations advising them of these proposals, it has neither advised nor consulted the broader regional public on these plans. The Port Authority's mandate states that it is "to operate with broad public support in the best interests of Canadians."
"I fully support Mayor Robertson, and other regional Mayors and Council, in calling for a full public review of these coal export proposals," said David Boyd, environmental lawyer, SFU professor, and Co-Chair of Vancouver's Greenest City Action Team. "Coal is a significant cause of climate change, and coal dust generated by train traffic and loading has major impacts on human health, agriculture and marine life. These issues need a full public airing, much broader than the delivery of letters to port neighbours that has taken place so far."