Thursday, December 6, 2012

Port Metro Vancouver project no longer subject to environmental assessment

In October, I posted about how the federal government under Harper's Conservatives has fundamentally redefined environmental legislation, and how the effects of that change are already being felt in Langley. Now Delta will start to feel the effects of the change to Canada’s environmental protection laws. Port Metro Vancouver is currently working on a Deltaport Terminal, Road and Rail Improvement Project. This is not the same as the proposed Terminal Two project. You can see a list of proposed projects below.

Deltaport Terminal, Road and Rail Improvement Project. Click image to enlarge.

This summer, the Port no longer became required to complete an environmental assessment for the proposed set of projects due to the replacement of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The Port decided to continue with the environmental assessment process which generated a list of 29 recommendations to reduce the environmental impact of the projects. While the Port decided to do right by the environment, I can’t imagine that others will or that the Port will continue to do so in the future unless required by law.

I don’t think that people fully realize how much weaker the protection of the Canadian environment has become. The tragedy is that a healthy society cannot exist without a healthy environment, and the federal government is slowly taking the tools away to protect and promote a healthy environment.

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