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.