APE - Against Port Expansion in Delta, BC
Say NO to Roberts Bank Terminal 2
APE - Against Port Expansion in Delta, BC
Say NO to Roberts Bank Terminal 2
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Against Port Expansion in the Fraser Estuary BC

APE (Against Port Expansion in the Fraser Estuary BC) is a group of concerned citizens who recognize that plans for container terminal expansion on Roberts Bank (T2) will see the degradation of the quality of life for thousands of Lower Mainland residents; the industrialization of prime agricultural land; and the loss of globally-significant habitat for salmon, migrating birds and orca whales.

The Myth of Port Metro Vancouver’s Shore Power

Have you seen the slick TD ads telling us how Port Metro Vancouver is providing shore power for cruise ships to cut down on pollution?

The Vancouver Sun ran an article on August 19 telling us that less than one third of the cruise ships are actually using it.


One cruise line then advised that it has shore power connectivity but the Port assigns them a berth where the connection is on the wrong side!

Locally one Delta Resident wrote in the Delta Optimist, suggesting that Port Metro Vancouver treats Deltans as second class citizens:


Pollution from ocean going vessels – both cruise ships as well as the many freighters docking in Vancouver area ports – are indeed a significant source of pollution. The pollution problem is actually much worse than Port Metro Vancouver would have you believe. Only a few of the cruise ships use shore power, and PMV does not even provide it at their other terminals, despite repeated requests to do so.  As usual they have many excuses.

In any case, by our estimate cruise ships represent only about 3% of the total ship-days in port, so if only 1/3 of the cruise ships, (and none of the other ships) are using shore power, it means about 99% of the ships tied up in the port are using their own diesel engines, likely burning dirty diesel fuel (Bunker C).

The extent of this problem can be gauged by looking closely at the statistics provided by Metro Vancouver on the sources of pollution in the Metro air shed, (emitters).Metro Vancouver says that on average, 10% of all air pollution is caused by ships.   This average is derived by including Carbon Dioxide (CO2) as one of the pollutants, but CO2 isn’t a health risk in the usual sense, and is nearly all contributed by other sources, e.g cars and industry, not ships.  In other words CO2 won’t give you cancer or emphysema. 

There is a huge amount of CO2 generated in the air shed, in tonnage terms compared to the other real pollutants.  It therefore skews the average to make ships look relatively benign, and thus we arrive at the 10% figure.   But if we take out CO2 from the average, the  percentage contribution of ships to the real pollution situation gets much worse:

  • The serious and major pollutants in the Metro Vancouver air shed include NOx, Diesel Particulate Matter and Sulphur Dioxide. 
  • Ships contribute now, respectively 14%, 38% and 79% of these key pollutants, obviously much more than the 10% figure widely quoted
  • These three pollutants are all serious health risks, right now.    They cause smog, which is bad enough, but they also lead to serious illnesses such as lung cancer, bronchitis, emphysema, cardiovascular diseases, you name it.    The list goes on and on….
  • Reading the medical literature on the health risks of these pollutants is a sobering experience and should be a wake up call to port inhabitants in any major port where these monstrous diesel engines are allowed to idle for days on end.
  • Bad as this is, the percentage contribution is only going to get worse in future, up to double that, due to various factors.
  • Most other segments of society are now closely regulated, i.e. forced to decrease air pollution all the time, (industry, cars, trucks for instance), but not Port Metro Vancouver, which is totally unregulated and continues to pollute our atmosphere. 
  • Port Metro Vancouver plans to bring in many more vessels, (all burning dirty diesel fuel while in our port), including:
    • Coal ships to Fraser Surrey Docks
    • Oil Tankers to Kinder Morgan
    • More container ships to Roberts Bank

Bottom line - we have a serious health risk in Metro Vancouver coming from ships, far more than we are being told.The only way to reduce this problem is to require – perhaps even regulate -that shore power must be implemented at all Port Metro Vancouver sites, not just the cruise ships, which are a minimal part of the problem anyway.

Tell Port Metro Vancouver to stop polluting our air shed. You can tell them here:




How Valid are Port Metro Vancouver Statistics?

Is this Port Metro Vancouver pulling the wool over our eyes? Here is the thread:

The Delta Optimist has had a recent flurry of editorials and letters recently published and concerning Port Metro Vancouver’s proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2. It started with an editorial about the concept of inland terminals as a way to spare farmland in Delta from industrial development:


This was then followed by a letter suggesting the Port start listening to community views:


There then came a response from PMV’s Vice President Peter Xotta :


This then prompted two more letters:

The first disputes the stats he puts out on container volumes and job creation numbers:


The second says T2 is not needed and challenges the Port's notion that container traffic will double in 10 to 15 years, suggesting that Prince Rupert is better placed to handle West Coast container expansion:


Finally recent comments by PMV CEO Robin Silvester about the number of jobs T2 will create (also mentioned by Mr Xotta although he uses numbers that are different than Mr.Silvester) prompted Cliff Caprani from Citizens Against Port Expansion to craft this short video.



It challenges Port Metro Vancouver to explain the conflicting, confusing and over inflated  job creation numbers that they are putting out.


MLA Speaks Out About "Rare Biolfilm" on Roberts Bank that is threatened by Development

Speaking about International Migratory Bird Day in the BC Legislature on May 7 2014, MLA for Delta South, Vicki Huntington, highlighted the importance of Roberts Bank as a unique ecosystem. She reminded the House that on Roberts Bank "One of the world's greatest migrations takes place on our doorstep, a doorstep that is in danger of becoming a doormat". She went on to point out that a rare intertidal biofilm situated right on Roberts Bank sustains the world's population of Western Sandpipers.

She then went on to indicate that now competing interests, such as Port Metro Vancouver's proposed container terminal expansion on Roberts Bank, threaten to destroy this ecosystem. Suggesting to the Legislature that Delta South is without parallel in British Columbia in terms of its natural wonders, with Roberts Bank in particular being designated under the United Nations Ramsar Convention as wetlands of international significance, she said "Enough is Enough!" and  called on the legilsature to protect the vital ecosystem that is Roberts Bank .

View Statement by Vicki Huntington in the BC Legislature


No Business Case for T2

No Business Case for a Second Container Terminal in the Fraser River Estuary

 Port Metro Vancouver (PMV) is moving forward with a Canadian Environmental Assessment for a second Container Shipping Terminal (T2) with three berths adjacent to Deltaport at Roberts Bank.  The $3 billion Terminal 2 will add three million TEUs (twenty-foot container equivalent units) of capacity.  To justify this massive project, the port is publicizing exaggerated forecasts claiming its container traffic will triple by 2030.  This translates into a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.3% per year.  It is an unrealistic forecast considering the fact that the last 5 years (2008 – 2013) have shown a CAGR of 2.54%. PMV_Growth_forecast_Chart_June_2014.jpg


PMV Container Growth Forecasts - Click Here For a Printable Copy

PMV has consistently understated capacity and overstated projected container volumes in order to push for container expansion at Robert Bank.  The Port is now repeating this misrepresentation to justify their Terminal 2 (T2) project.  PMV is ignoring the capacity and potential for expansion at Prince Rupert Port in spite of a Government Report (Strategic Advisor Report, Transport Canada, 2008) advising that expanded container capacity should be developed in Prince Rupert before investing in Vancouver.

Economically, it defies logic to spend about $3 billion ($1,000 per TEU of capacity created) for a new terminal to expand container capacity at Port Metro Vancouver when Prince Rupert estimates it will cost about $650 million to expand its capacity by one and a half million TEUs ($433 per TEU of capacity).

Considering that less than a third of PMV container throughput is destined for southern BC, 50% to 60% of B.C. container business can be handled by either Port Metro Vancouver or Prince Rupert Port.

More importantly, ports in Seattle, Tacoma and Los Angeles compete with B.C. ports for US container business. About 20% of PMV and 50% of Prince Rupert container business is bound to the US.  PMV will have to massively increase its share of rail volumes to the US market in order to fill up the proposed T2 project.  Recent rail congestion suggests that this will be extremely unlikely, and PMV has done no studies to suggest that the Canadian railways could handle this additional volume, particularly in conjunction with increased capacity in Prince Rupert and demands of grain, oil, and other domestic cargo movements. 

PMV is planning to spend about $400 million just for the approval stages of the new Terminal 2 (T2).  The Port then plans to enter into contracts that will expose PMV to annual contingent liabilities of well over one $100 million to guarantee payments to the company that will construct T2.  All of this is being done so that PMV can generate congestion on Canada’s roads and railways to increase the movement of containers to the US.

It makes no business sense to spend billions to dredge and fill globally-significant habitat in the Fraser River estuary when the combined container capacity of PMV and Prince Rupert Port can easily accommodate several decades of Canadian container trade.   Where is the accountability?

For a detailed analysis click here