Port authority responds to Burnaby mayor

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Port Metro Vancouver has issued a written rebuttal to Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan after he ripped into the organization at a recent council meeting.

In a broadside posted on YouTube, Corrigan said he felt that B.C. is becoming a banana republic, citing the example of how Port Metro Vancouver conducts environmental assessments.

In its response, Port Metro Vancouver declared that Corrigan got it wrong by saying its board hired SNC-Lavalin to evaluate a proposed Direct Transfer Coal Facility.

"The fact is that PMV required Fraser Surrey Docks to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment as part of the Project Review Process," Port Metro Vancouver stated. "The decision by FSD to hire SNC-Lavalin as the EIA consultant was made by the project proponent and not PMV."

SNC-Lavalin, a Montreal-based engineering giant, has been banned from receiving World Bank funding for 10 years after being linked to corruption in Bangladesh.

Port Metro Vancouver also objected to Corrigan's claim that coal destined for the proposed facility has been refused by U.S. ports.

In addition, the port authority denied that its directors will financially benefit from a new coal facility at Fraser Surrey Docks.

"The board delegates authority of individual permitting decisions to PMV senior management, which are guided by, and fully comply with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Canada Marine Act," Port Metro Vancouver stated.

Corrigan previously stated out that the majority of Port Metro Vancouver directors are appointed by the companies that will benefit from decisions allowing projects to proceed. 

"And so here you've got a board of directors, appointed by the companies, that is in charge of the environmental assessment to determine whether they're going to make more money," Corrigan had said.

Port Metro Vancouver, on the other hand, insisted that this wasn't the case, saying directors and executives acknowledge in writing that they understand the code of conduct, which has clear conflict of interest rules.

"The Board of Directors will not benefit financially," Port Metro Vancouver maintained.

Comments (5) Add New Comment
David B
Why didn't Port Metro Vancouver do its own study and hire a more reputable research organization than SNC - Lavalin.

Port Vancouver Metro Public relations is just sneakily trying to pass the buck.
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Thomas Folkestone
Charlie, you wrote:
Corrigan previously stated out that the majority of Port Metro Vancouver directors are appointed by the companies that will benefit from decisions allowing projects to proceed...
Port Metro Vancouver, on the other hand, insisted that this wasn't the case, saying directors and executives acknowledge in writing that they understand the code of conduct, which has clear conflict of interest rules.

More info please! Is The Port saying that Corrigan is wrong about them being on the very corporations that will profit, or is The Port saying that these magical conflict of interest rules are sufficient will protect us, regardless of whether this is true?

Thanks.
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The average guy
Port Metro Vancouver is in PR mode. Good PR is required when you lack credibility. This letter rebuffing the Burnaby mayor is an attempt to counter the reality that the mayor is talking about. It's a reality that the PMV directors will monetarily profit from port expansion.

But as long as us average folks can watch the hockey and football game on TV, these directors can go ahead and profit from dishonesty.
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Frank James
The real test will be when the Port makes a decision about the EIA. It is very clear that the EIA does not get a passing grade. Many experts have made detailed comments about its deficiencies. Of the 3,500 or so comments 6 were supportive of the EIA and honestly if you read them they are very anemic at best.

If the Port is doing anything more than Public Relations, which they should be doing a good job of given that they have hired the largest PR firm in the World to advise them on this issue and the largest in Canada as well. But if it is going to be anything more than PR they will reject this poorly done incomplete EIA and do a full EIA that meets the nations standards AND and Health Impact Assessment that meets the standards of independence and objectivity as well THEN and only then will we know if it is just an attempt to manipulate the public or a real attempt to get the facts that the jurisdictional Health Officers and virtually every elected local official as well have been calling for.
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Shepsil
"The Average Guy" makes a valid point, that PR like this is only required when an entity like Port Metro Vancouver(PMV) needs some credibility. PMV's President, Robin Silvester, said last year that "Farming is an emotional issue and we will have to import all our food soon, as his Port needs our farmland for industrial port lands".

Givien the ongoing Climate Change challenges and water issues in California, the bread basket of North America, we need every bit of farmland in British Columbia saved from land developers. The statement by Robin Silvester of PMV is nothing less than immoral.

We all know our Federal and Provincial Gov'ts are corporate lackies whose moral values are self serving just like their corporate, market driven masters. Conservative values that demand we allow the "market" be allowed to show us the way.

Its well past the time when anyone with progessive moral values is prepared to allow a federal port authority to dictate how we are going to run our society.

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