Letter to the Port of Metro Van opposing expansion of coal terminals

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Port of Metro Vancouver

Re: Expansion of Coal Terminal at Fraser Surrey Docks

As the son of an autoworker who was the sole financial provider for our family, I am familiar with the sense of being dependent on an industry. Growing up in Hamilton, Ontario has also given me a keen insight to the importance that a particular industry can have to the economic livelihood of workers and their families.

We know that coal is a huge contributor of Green House Gases (GHG) that are causing climate change. It is clearly evident that the use of coal will have to be dramatically decreased. With the proposed idea of a “carbon budget” and many realizing that much of the resources that produce GHG should not be used, it is imperative that alternative sources of energy need to be used. To expand the port’s capacity to ship coal at this time is short-sighted and significantly problematic on many levels.

A recent article in the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives noted that, “As we move toward a low carbon future, encouraging workers to move into coal sector jobs is wrong.” full article. While there may be an increase in jobs in the short-term with the expansion of the coal terminal, it is wrong to encourage people to take jobs that have inadequate prospects.

We know that coal has limited future and recognize that coal is an important material in making steel and its not going to disappear. But also we know that its use will have to be substantially reduced.

Demand for coal in China is also dropping. It is a problematic business case to be spending capital dollars on expanding a terminal with limited market growth.full article

Not being an expert in Environmental Impact Assessment process myself, I read with keen interest the open letter from 35 experts who questioned the Ports methodology and conclusion. I would urge you to consider the points they have raised. Open letter to Port of Metro Van

I urge the Port of Metro Vancouver to critically examine your mandate to the people of Canada to consider the broader consequences of expanding coal terminals in British Columbia.

Brent Granby

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