Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project

Port Metro Vancouver has started a 10 year process for a proposed expansion to the Deltaport with the Roberts Bank Terminal 2. You can read more about the project at their website and you can learn more about Port Metro Vancouver from one of my previous posts. The Port believes that by 2014, they will not have enough freight handling capacity and that an expansion is needed. They believe that they’ll need to break ground by 2017-2018 on this project, but may slow down the project if there are changes to the economy.

Pre-Consultation meeting in Langley this morning.

Instead of just going ahead with this project without involving the public which has happened in the past, the Port has hired a third-party, arms-length firm that will handle the public consultation process that will actually be used to develop the plan for the Port and its project.

The first part of this process is something called a pre-consultation which is working with community stakeholders to develop a set of questions and the terms of reference for the public consultation, out of which the project design will be based on. I along with Mayor Rick Green from the Township of Langley, Councillors Rudy Storteboom from the City of Langley, Lynn Whitehouse, Ed Kolla, and Denni Bonetti from the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, Nan Ames from the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee, and Peter Holt, Roy Mufford, and Lee Lockwood from VALTAC where at a pre-consultation meeting this morning at Newlands Golf and Country Club. There will be seven pre-consultation meetings in total.

There were many good comments and suggestions that came out of the pre-consultation. They can be summarized as needing to educate (not brainwash) the community on the Port’s issues, providing different options on how the Port’s goals can be met, and truly listening to the community and being responsive to their needs. As one person put it at the meeting, we need to balance the needs for Canada with the needs and liveability of our communities in Metro Vancouver.

The pre-consultation process will wrap up this month and they will begin a public consultation process later this fall. One of the things that I’d like to see in this process is the engagement of the public and younger people via social media.

While I'm very positive about this process and it seems like the Port is not going to ram a “solution” on our region, I also remain a bit skeptical. I will be following this process and will update the blog as it continues. The whole public consultation and environmental review process is expected to take around 6 -7 years.

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