Burnaby’s Mayor Compares BC To a Banana Republic

By Roy L Hales

Screen shot 2014-03-18 at 3.43.47 PMThe coal terminals in BC’s Lower Mainland are being enlarged to handle a great deal more cargo. The capacity of Neptune Terminals, in North Vancouver, has doubled. Westshore Terminals, in Delta, has applied to make a $230 million “upgrade.” It has yet to be seen if a new coal terminal will go in at Fraser Surrey Docks. Just before Burnaby’s council passed a resolution showing their opposition to the proposal, Mayor Derek Corrigan commented that BC is turning into a Banana Republic.

“Over and over again we decisions being made by bodies who are not independent,” said Mayor Corrigan. “Port Metro Vancouver is conducting this environmental assessment. The Majority of Directors on Port Metro Vancouver are appointed by the very companies that stand to economically benefit from these decisions. And so here you have a Board of Directors, appointed by the companies that us in charge of the environmental assessment to determine if they are going to make more money.”

Instead of moving goods down the Fraser River to distribute them, we are giving priority to “dirty” American coal, which the people of Washington and Oregon do not want shipped through their ports. We intend to ship it out to Texada Island, from whence it goes to China.

“As if we were not all sharing the same air shed and that dirty coal was not going to blow right back into our atmosphere,” the Mayor said. “And then they wonder why politicians have such difficulty in trusting the machination of our senior orders of Government, the ones who are given all the constitutional authority to impose their will on local municipalities.”

The Board hired SNC Lavalin to do an environmental report but, Mayor Corrigan explains, this company is currently being investigated for corruption in Montreal and the World Bank has banned them for ten years because of corruption!

“If this company has been banned by the World Bank, why the heck are they doing environmental assessments in our back yard?” Corrigan says. “This is completely losing control of any public interest in these projects what-so-ever.”

On January 13, Burnaby council voted unanimously to oppose expansion of coal exports through Fraser Surrey Docks.

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