Canada relies on trade to support our growing population and standard of living. Canada’s west coast ports, including the Port of Vancouver and the Port of Prince Rupert, have experienced substantial growth in container shipping trade because Canadians demand for imported goods is increasing. In addition, Canadian exporters of all sizes, from auto manufactures in Ontario, grain farmers in Saskatchewan, and blueberry farmers in British Columbia, rely on these ports to help stay in business.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority knows all about growing trade. Our third-party forecasts have long signaled that West Coast port terminals will soon run out of room to handle the growing number of containers moving to and from Canada. If we don’t take action to do something about, it will be more difficult and expensive to trade, and there will be unrealized or lost jobs and economic benefits for Canadians.
Our role as a port authority is to ensure that the Port of Vancouver is ready to handle growing trade. To do this, we’ve partnered with governments, industries and communities to invest in projects that help goods move smoothly. We’ve also partnered with terminal operators to squeeze every last bit of capacity they have through things like expansions and reconfigurations. However, despite these efforts, we won’t have enough space for those containers coming to the West Coast by the mid-2020s.
After many years of study, extensive planning, and engagement with Indigenous groups and communities, we decided that a new marine container terminal at Roberts Bank in Delta, B.C. is the only option to provide much-needed capacity on the West Coast before the late 2020s. Roberts Bank is the optimal location because it is already home to Canada’s largest container terminal, and it has excellent links to road and rail networks.
The proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project would be a new terminal in deep water away from residential communities and sensitive intertidal habitats that are needed for young fish, western sandpipers and crabs.
The project would be paid for by the port authority and private investment, which would be recouped through lease payments made by the terminal operator and fees paid by terminal users.
We are confident that after our many years of study, the project can be built without significant adverse effects to the environment that can’t be mitigated.