Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Posts Tagged ‘The Great Crash of 2008

Gateway takes a beating at forum

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Delta Optimist

The forum in question was the all candidates meeting in Delta. So at least the people running for election to the federal government are actually listening to what people are saying.

[Conservative MP John] Cummins said the environmental assessment for the third berth at Deltaport was skewed because the port authority said there were no plans for a second container terminal.

“That was simply wrong,” the veteran MP said. “It was the wrong thing for the port to do and we didn’t like the results.”

But environmental assessments in BC cannot stop a project no matter how stupid it is or how bad its impact. All that can be done is to extract some expectation of mitigation. Although, as we have seen, that does not mean any will actually happen (see my recent post on gravel extraction) or will be additional to what is already being done (PM2/H1).

Cummins simply said the extra berths are not needed.

“There is no economic justification for port expansion at this time,” he said.

Both Barna and Miller also said that they don’t support a second container port.

So somebody has been listening. Good. Now how long will it take for the geniuses at Port Metro Vancouver and the BC MoT to wake up and smell the coffee? If there is no justification for port expansion, there goes the case made for the Gateway.

And the amazing thing is that I think Kevin may be realising this too. I have not been able to source the comment on line but apparently he said at the opening of the Central Valley Greenway that we need the Gateway now as a boost to our local economy in tough times. Which means that all of a sudden he has become a Keynesian. In fact, all the mega projects done here in recent years have a very low local multiplier, because most of the spending goes elsewhere. We have to be bring in the expertise, technology, equipment and labour from other places. In fact the big news stories recently about the cancellation of the water tunnel on the North Shore and a contractor on the Golden Ears going broke was because we had to bail out the unfortunate “guest workers” left without any wages.

If you are on facebook check out Joe Foy’s videos – he has the recent tv news version of how the credit crunch will hot the Gateway. Put simply, the banks will not lend. That means that huge new P3 projects cannot be financed. And despite a trillion dollars of government (i.e. US Taxpayer’s) money they are still not inclined to lend – even to each other.

Written by Stephen Rees

October 12, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Posted in Gateway

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