Here’s a letter to Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of the environmental group Ecojustice:
I’m against the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project for a number of reasons, but here are the three most important:
- The environmental impact is to an area known to be important and already under stress. It’s one thing to prioritize commercial growth when the area affected is known to be unstressed and potentially resilient to such pressures. Quite another to conclude that Canadians are willing to look the other way when we know of species at risk, and lands and waters for which we owe responsible stewardship could be harmed. The Federal Review Panel Report of March 2020 found in a summary of its key findings: “…the Project would result in numerous adverse residual and cumulative effects.”
- The building and operation of the proposed terminal isn’t simply a zero-sum game in which you can calculate a win for people despite a loss for habitat. There are many people in the affected region who are likely to experience diminished quality of life due to the project. For example, the Federal Review Panel Report concluded that several Indigenous groups could be impacted by the project due to changes in their current use of lands and resources in the area. And generally in the City of Delta, BC, local populations could be impacted because of limits on outdoor recreation, increase in exposure to nitrogen dioxide and other respiratory irritants, noise, light, dust, and stress.
- By the Port of Vancouver’s own calculations and admission, the massive T2 project will be inadequate to cover Canada’s international commerce needs within a decade. In their FAQ on project facts, they state: “…construction of the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project could begin in 2022 and would take approximately six years to complete. Our goal, through building the project, is to ensure that Canada is able to meet trade plans and objectives through to the mid- to late-2030s.” In historical terms, this is barely even a blip. We would simply pass on to the next generation the need to scale up still further, on the backs of some other community and region.