In line with our public interest mandate, the development and design of Roberts Bank Terminal 2 has been shaped by extensive consultation with Indigenous groups, and engagement with government, stakeholders, and the public. This project-related engagement process began in 2011, early in project development and prior to the initiation of the federal environmental assessment process.
For over a decade, we have been consulting with nearly 50 Indigenous groups on Roberts Bank Terminal 2, as directed by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, to inform the design of an environmentally responsible project that reflects Indigenous priorities. Our comprehensive, multi-phased consultation program has allowed for the integration of Indigenous knowledge throughout all phases of project development, including into project design, mitigation measures, environmental management plans, follow-up program elements, and broader economic opportunities. We also provide funding to all Indigenous groups that we engage with on the project to support their participation and involvement.
We will continue to work with Indigenous groups to facilitate ongoing opportunities throughout construction and operation, and provide benefits through training, employment and contracting. We will also make environmental monitoring opportunities available for Indigenous groups during project construction to identify and monitor key environmental and cultural interests and concerns, and will implement project initiatives such as Indigenous cultural awareness training for project employees.
In addition, we are working closely with Indigenous groups to establish mutual benefits agreements (MBAs) to ensure that benefits of the project are shared. To date, we have signed MBAs with 26 out of the 27 Indigenous groups who have provided consent for the project, and are in closer proximity to the project and/or who have interests that directly overlap with the project. Positive discussions continue with the remaining Indigenous groups on MBA opportunities.
We are extremely proud of our collaborative relationships with Indigenous groups, and are committed to building positive, long-lasting relationships with these communities. Consultation will continue throughout the permitting, construction, and operation phases of the project.
Spotlight: Integrating Indigenous knowledge into priority offsetting habitat projects
For Roberts Bank Terminal 2, we will build 86 hectares of offsetting habitat in collaboration with Indigenous groups to support key species of interest. Many of the offsetting projects in this plan were selected based on Indigenous priorities. For example, the Tilbury Island Peninsula Enhancement Project is a priority offsetting project for Musqueam and Tsawwassen that involves improving and increasing marsh habitat to provide a variety of ecological benefits.
We conducted four rounds of public engagement between 2011 and 2014 and have participated in hundreds of project-related meetings and workshops with regulators, Indigenous groups, government, stakeholders, and the general public. Throughout these early phases of the project, we learned the public was interested in the topics of project design, environmental studies, potential project effects, and draft environmental mitigation concepts. In addition, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC) held seven public comment periods on the project.
The feedback we received from the public, local government, and other key stakeholders has served to enhance the project design and inform our mitigation measures. All the information we submitted during the environmental assessment process is available on IAAC’s public registry for the project. This online registry includes over 4,700 documents such as technical and scientific studies; environmental reports; public comments; submissions by federal, provincial, and regional regulators; the port authority’s responses to information requests; and presentations and transcripts from the public hearing.
Working with local governments
Local government has played an important role in shaping the project. The port authority’s program of engagement with local and regional governments has involved:
- The Local Government Elected Roundtable, established in 2012, provided a forum for the port authority and elected officials to discuss community interests, issues, and benefits related to the project. The committee included representatives from the City of Delta, City of Langley, Township of Langley, City of Richmond, City of Surrey, Metro Vancouver, Tsawwassen First Nation, and the port authority.
- The Mayors’ Roundtable – South of Fraser was formed in 2017 after feedback from mayors and elected officials who wished to discuss a broader range of topics. The committee included mayors from the City of Delta, City of Langley, Township of Langley, and City of Richmond; the chair of Metro Vancouver; the Chief of Tsawwassen First Nation; and a member of the executive team of the port authority.
- The Local Government Technical Liaison Committees facilitated regular communication between project staff and staff from the City of Delta, City of Langley, Township of Langley, City of Richmond, and City of Surrey. These meetings allowed committee members to share technical information, issues, and interests regarding the project.
- The Working Group Process provided a forum to meet collectively with representatives from federal, provincial, local, and regional governments, and Indigenous groups. The focus of the working group meetings was to provide an opportunity for the port authority to present, ask questions, and receive feedback on our proposed assessment approach.