Please reject the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority's Terminal 2 expansion project.

Reference Number
3346
Text

I am deeply concerned regarding the environmental impact of the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 ("RBT2") project.  I am urging the federal government to reject the RBT2 expansion project. The impact of this project cannot be mitigated.

The Impact Assessment Agency report has found that RBT2 will have significant adverse and cumulative effects on the South Thompson River and Lower Fraser ocean-type Chinook salmon populations. The federal review panel also determined that terminal expansion would create a large barrier to juvenile Chinook salmon wanting to migrate to eelgrass beds. In combination with adverse effects from acoustic and light disruption, these effects would be ‘high in magnitude, local in extent, permanent in duration and irreversible’. 

The panel also found that the project would adversely affect food availability for Southern Resident killer whales, which will be magnified due to the nutritionally-stressed state of the whales. The panel concluded that the effects would be ‘regional in extent, permanent in duration, irreversible and continuous’. The panel acknowledged that the Salish Sea is already too noisy for Southern Resident killer whales, and that the marine shipping associated with the Project would result in significant adverse effects on the population. 

Importantly, there is a lack of evidence demonstrating that habitat mitigation offsets the negative effects incurred by development projects. In fact, a study done by Lievesley et al. (2016) found that only 33% of the Port’s own habitat offsetting projects obtained their intended goals, and a Canada-wide study by Quigley and Harper (2006) determined that 50% of fish habitat mitigation projects were not compensating for damages on a 1:1 ratio. This lack of quantitative evidence demonstrating habitat offsetting effectiveness is critical to consider in this decision. 

For birds, the estuary is of global significance and serves as a crucial stopover on migration routes stretching from South America to the high Arctic. Environment Canada concluded that the impacts from the shipping expansion increase the threats to shorebirds generally, and western sandpipers specifically, and that these risks cannot be mitigated.

The existing terminal is already a significant footprint in the Fraser Estuary. If the conservation and recovery of Canada’s endangered and iconic wildlife species are a priority for the Government of Canada, then the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project must be rejected. Rejecting the project would demonstrate federal commitment to the letter and intent of legislation like Canada’s Species at Risk Act and policies like Canada’s Wild Salmon Policy. Investments in conservation and biodiversity have also been shown to be investments in the prosperity of current and future generations.

Please reject the proposed Roberts Bank shipping expansion and demonstrate a commitment to the integrity of Canada’s biodiversity and ecosystems, on which we all rely.

Submitted by
Alice Edwards
Phase
N/A
Public Notice
Public Notice - Public Comments Invited on Additional Information and Potential Conditions
Attachment(s)
N/A
Date Submitted
2022-03-15 - 10:47 PM
Date modified: