Four years and counting. That is how long we have been creating our story. A story about multiple communities coming together over concerns with the Fraser Surrey Docks Coal Project – pollution, noise, health and climate change.
It has become so clear…
As the months and years have gone by, it has become clear to us that the system is flawed and that the Port’s practices as it relates to the coal project, were unlawful. And that is why we are going to court. To show that the Port’s CEO did not have the legal authority to issue the permit and that the Port demonstrated bias in its decision to approve the Fraser Surrey Dock’s permit. Evidence filed with the court suggest the compensation scheme allowed the Port’s CEO, who issued the permit, to obtain a bonus up to a maximum of 104% of his salary – based to a large degree on the financial success of the Port and his ability to expand the Port’s business.
Our Group’s Impact
Not surprisingly, since filing our legal challenge in 2014 with Ecojustice, the Port has fought to keep us out of court, to make relevant documents confidential, and to wear us down, because what we are doing here could be groundbreaking, should we win. At one point years ago, I recall the Port saying that they have never, ever had this much public backlash over a permit application. To say that our group has had an impact on this project is an understatement.
The Story is Not Over.
We Need Your Help
We’ve worked really, really hard and have made a significant difference to this coal project and the story continues in Federal Court May 17-19, 2017. As you can imagine, bringing forward a legal challenge like this is a long and expensive process. Based on what our legal team has experienced over the last few years, we are looking to raise another $7000. Your contribution will help make a difference and ensure that we are in the best position possible. Let’s keep up our fight and not lose the momentum we have created. Please donate today at www.gofundme.com/port2court. Thank you for your continued support!
May 2013– Chief Medical Health Officer sends letter to Port Metro Vancouver with concerns & recommends a full Health Impact Assessment (HIA); City of New Westminster opposes the Project June 2013 – Communities and Coal (C&C) hosts first town hall meeting in Ocean Park; Metro Vancouver votes 21-4 in favor of opposing FSD coal project w/support for a HIA July 2013 – C&C drafts petition and begins canvassing door-2-door, farmer’s markets, festivals & community events until Nov 2013 in White Rock, Surrey, Tsawwassen, Ladner, & Cloverdale; Vancouver bans handling , storage and trans-shipment of coal at its marine terminals and berths; City of White Rock opposes FSD project. July 2013-March 2014 – C&C meets with
7 Members of Parliament: MPs Hiebert, Sims, Julian, Sandhu, Findlay, Fry, & Warawa
Two BC Cabinet Ministers: Polak & Fassbender
Speaker of the Legislature – MLA Reid
11 members of the Legislative Assembly: MLAs Huntington, Weaver, Chandra-Herbert, Hamilton, Darcy, Corrigan, Hunt, Hogg Ralston, Cadieux, & Simons
Discussion with Chief Medical Health Officers Dr. Patricia Daly & Dr. Paul Van Buynder
August 2013 – C&C Ladner Town Hall; C&C assisted Powell River Town Hall; C&C sent open letter to the Port asking them to reject the project September 2013 – C&C North Delta Town Hall; Guest on the Harpreet Singh TV Show; Port asks FSD to produce and Environmental Assessment due to public pressure; FSD hires SNC-Lavalin October 2013 – C&C participates in a rally in New Westminster; C&C collects over 100 signatures from businesses; C&C presents resolution to not support FSD coal project to Surrey Council – passes; C&C speaks at City of Langley council meeting; C&C assists Panorama Ridge town Hall; Kwantlen College Presentation; SFU Presentation; Presentation to Surrey’s Environmental Committee November 2013 – C&C Annieville Elementary and Burnsview Secondary presentations; Surrey Environmental board presentation; C&C Tsawwassen Town Hall; C&C participates in a N. Vancouver Community forum on coal; C&C North Delta Town Hall; Organized presentation in front of Delta’s Environmental Advisory Committee; New Westminster Environmental Partners presentation by C&C; RED FM Radio interview; C&C presentation to Delta Council; FSD produces and Environmental Assessment which Health Authorities called “deeply flawed” December 2013 – C&C Richmond Town Hall; C&C participates in SFU Harbour Centre discussion on Coal; C&C joins silent demonstration on Dec 17 (last day of the Environmental Impact Assessment public comment period); C&C and VTACC coordinated open letter from health experts to the Port; C&C submits 13,000 signature petition to the Port; Almost 3500 comments submitted to the Port through Real Port Hearings; C&C joint Opinion piece published in the Vancouver Sun; Delta Council passes similar motion to Surrey and looks to develop a review committee to work with the Port; Richmond passes motion not to support the FSD project; C&C sent letter to BC Minister of Health January 2014 – C&C supporters attend presentation to Surrey City Council by Robin Silvester; C&C presentation to Richmond school District and Burnaby School District; Burnaby City Council call for HIA and public hearings; C&C presents at Surrey School District; C&C guest on the Jill Krop show Global TV; C&C letter to Metro Vancouver about FSD’s air quality permit; C&C email sent to BC Minister of Health; C&C sent email to Premier Clark for assistance; C&C meets with Mayor of Langley who then publically supports call for HIA February 2014 – C&C presentation at New Westminster School District; Over 3700 comments submitted to the Province asking for a Health Impact Assessment through the Real Port Hearings website. March 2014 – Provincial government silently approves amendment to Lafarge’s permit on Texada which allows them to increase their coal storage capacity; C&C presentation at MP Nathan Cullen’s forum; C&C co-sign a letter to the Port about transparency, scope of the review, noise & climate impacts; C&C drafts another federal petition and seeks signatures; Petition presented in the House of Commons by MP Hedy Fry April 2014– Radio ad purchased on CKNW asking provincial Minister of Health to require a HIA for the Project; C&C federal petition presented again in the House of Commons by MP Jinny Sims and MP Jasbir Sandhu; C&C co-sign a letter to the Deputy Assistant Minister of Health asking for a Health Impact Assessment May 2014 – 10,000 C&C flyers mailed to homes near BNSF railway, along the portion of the track from White Rock to N. Surrey near FSD; Electronic form created at our website for people to contact provincial Minister of Health June 2014 – C&C attended the Port’s AGM and asked a question about the project July 2014 – C&C letter sent to Metro Vancouver with concerns over FSD’s Waste Disposal Permit application; FSD files lawsuit to challenge Metro Vancouver’s Air Quality jurisdiction August 2014 – Port Metro Vancouver approves the FSD project; permit granted September 2014 – C&C, VTACC, Paula Williams and Christine Dujmovich file legal challenge against Port Metro Vancouver; BC Union of Municipalities urge need for full assessment of health & environmental impacts of moving thermal coal through BC March 2015 – Metro Vancouver opens 30 day public comment period for FSD Waste Water permit application; C&C sends second letter to Metro Van regarding Waste Water (3400 submissions through the Real Port Hearings website) June 2015 – Judge denies Port’s request for adjournment of our case; C&C delivers 3000 signature public letter to Jeff Scott at Port’s AGM; C&C host two MP Candidates’ Forums (S. Surrey/White Rock & Delta); Metro Vancouver opposes FSD permit amendment July 2015 – Surrey and New Westminster granted intervenor status in our legal challenge; FSD submits application to amend their permit replacing barges with ocean going vessels; FSD drops lawsuit against Metro Vancouver challenging air quality jurisdiction September 2015 – C&C host a fundraising event October 2015– C&C co-hosts an all candidates debate in South Surrey-White Rock November 2015 – University of Washington releases study showing coal trains emit nearly twice the pollution as freight trains; Over 2000 comments on permit amendment application through Real Port Hearings; Port Metro Vancouver approves FSD’s permit amendment application February 2016 – C&C sends letter to Federal Minister of Transport on Port Reform; Nearly 700 comments on Port reform to the Fed. Minister of Transport through Real Port Hearings March 2016 – FSD and Port Metro file motion to dismiss our court case due to the amended permit April 2016 – Federal Court hearing regarding motion; Judge dismisses it and therefore preserves our day in court September 2016 – Metro Vancouver grants Waste Discharge permit to FSD April 2017 – Ecojustice hosts event to publicize legal Challenge May 2017 – Finally our day in Court (May 17-19)