Lower mainland communities protest expansion of coal ports

VESG | VESG | October 29, 2013
What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon? Rally in New Westminster opposes coal trains and expansion of coal exports - Port Metro Vancouver is moving forward with plans to expand coal exports at Neptune Terminals in North Vancouver and to approve a brand new coal port on the Fraser River at Surrey Docks. Already, the Neptune and Westshore (Roberts Bank) terminals make the port the biggest exporter of coal in North America. That coal produces more GHG pollution than all the tar sands oil proposed for the Northern Gateway pipeline. On October 27th, a number of local grassroots organizations held a rally in New Westminster to oppose these developments and the related increase in coal train traffic. The next evening, the city council of Surrey voted unanimously to halt the Surrey Docks proposal until a comprehensive environmental review by an independent body takes place. Surrey joins the cities of Vancouver and White Rock City in demanding such a review
 
Vancouver -- Just after 10 pm Monday night Surrey City council voted unanimously to
Not support the Fraser Surrey Docks proposal,  and request of Port Metro Vancouver a comprehensive health impact assessment, conducted by an independent third party, as well as full public hearings on the project. The motion was passed in response to a community delegation led by Communities and Coal founder Paula Williams. ...see below

No to dirty jobs from coal: The following is a speech made by CaroleAnn Leishman to the rally in New Westminster BC on October 27, 2013 opposing the proposed, Surrey Docks coal export terminal on the Fraser River...more

Taking back the ports from coal interests in Vancouver: The following is the text of a speech Paula Williams made at a rally in New Westminster BC opposing the proposed Surrey Docks coal export terminal  on the Fraser River.  The rally took place on October 27, 2013...more

See photos of the Coal Port protest.
 
 
For Immediate Release

Oct 28 2013

Surrey council: unanimous opposition to export of US coal out of Fraser Surrey Docks
-- calls for independent health impact assessment and full public hearings

Vancouver -- Just after 10 pm Monday night Surrey City council voted unanimously to
 
Not support the Fraser Surrey Docks proposal,  and request of Port Metro Vancouver a comprehensive health impact assessment, conducted by an independent third party, as well as full public hearings on the project.  

The motion was passed in response to a community delegation led by Communities and Coal founder Paula Williams.  Communities and Coal's online petition has garnered nearly 11,000 signatures in opposition to the project.
 
Surrey now joins New Westminster, White Rock, Langley and Vancouver in passing motions either opposing expanded coal exports outright or calling for public hearings and comprehensive, independent review of impacts before a decision is made.  The Metro Vancouver Board of Directors voted 21 to 4 to oppose outright the Fraser Surrey Docks project.  Numerous MLAs and MPs have also written in opposition to the project.  A comprehensive summary of all municipal and regional motions as well as letters from MPs, MLAs and experts against the proposal can be found here.

The Port Authority will soon release results of a study it requested from Fraser Surrey Docks.  The requested study, described by the Port as an "Environmental Impact Assessment," has been rejected by health and environmental impact assessment experts as flawed and inadequate.  The Port Authority has given no indication that it intends to cooperate with Fraser Health Authority CMHO Paul Van Buynder in conducting a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment of the project.
 
Documents obtained by Voters Taking Action on Climate Change through an Access to Information request indicate that there is nothing prohibiting the Port Authority from holding public hearings on this project. However, to date the Port Authority has refused to do so.

 
 
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For further information on  the Surrey Council vote:
Paula Williams, Communities and Coal founder, 604.723.8556 communitiesandcoal@gmail.com
 
Further information on the Access to Information requests: Kevin Washbrook 778.848.8278
Director, Voters Taking Action on Climate Change