DELTA Mayor George V. Harvie said on Thursday that the federal government had reached a decision to approve the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 expansion project and added: “The port expansion has been an issue of concern for residents of Delta for many years now. The protection of the Roberts Bank ecosystem, better policing of the port, and Indigenous rights are a few of the major concerns that need to be addressed. As Mayor, I will continue to work diligently with the federal government and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to ensure this expansion is in line with our vision for Delta.”
He pointed out that in a 2020 report to Delta Council, a number of concerns were outlined by City staff pertaining to a port expansion, including adverse residual and cumulative effects on the Roberts Bank ecosystem, including Southern Resident Killer Whales, fish and aquatic species, birds, as well as First Nations cultural heritage and Indigenous rights, and lands and resources use were items of concern.
The issue of increased law enforcement at the port has also been raised due to the potential escalation of imported illicit drugs and weapons, including illegal firearms. This would require more security or policing resources in order to curtail these illegal operations.
Harvie is leading a delegation this week to Ottawa to discuss a number of issues with the federal government, and will raise these issues during his meetings.
The mayor said: “With an expansion of this magnitude, it is pertinent that our federal government help cover their share of costs associated with our vital infrastructure upgrades. We are still waiting for the Federal Government to come to the table and financially support the Massey Tunnel Replacement Project. This includes a financial contribution for the proposed River Road overpass and creating a second exit out of Ladner. We have also raised the issue of local channel dredging in the Lower Fraser River and are asking for a commitment to establish a long-term strategy and appropriate resources for this work to be done. I look forward to collaborative discussions with MP Carla Qualtrough on these issues.”