Posts Tagged ‘Ports Modernization Review’

Cooperating ports—good for Western Canada and all

November 26, 2018

Richmond Council has called on Transport Canada to replace the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, VFPA or “Port of Vancouver,” with a new Western Canada Port Agency, WCPA. That’s in Richmond’s response to the ministry’s Ports Modernization Review.

WCPA is a new name for a visionary concept associated with former minister David Emerson (over a decade ago) and revived by Joe Peschisolido, a current Richmond MP. For most of a decade, Robin Silvester has been CEO of VFPA. It’s viewed as an oligarchy, and he suits its aims, but it lacks the cooperative-service priority of the WCPA vision.

Along with support for WCPA, Richmond Council’s input includes many concerns and imperatives for consulting with local government, ending conflicts of interest such as VFPA’s “environmental assessments” of itself, and respecting ALR land, not buying it for industrial use. (Details in Nov 26 Richmond Council agenda and in the minutes soon.)

The Ports Modernization Review deadline is Monday, Dec 3. Since it’s urgent, Fraser Voices has put much thought into a fillable input form so you can mold your views if need be and send them in right away. Choose Word version or PDF version.

And if you’re not sure why reform is needed, see this highly informed list of concerns.

The input form includes a simple means (5 seconds) to help MP Joe Peschisolido and his Marine Ports Caucus show the need to add ROUNDTABLES for Ports Review stakeholders after Dec. 3. The intent is that the roundtables will bring together local politicians, environmentalists, business people and other active citizens in dialogue that will help the Transport Canada review to modernize the Western Canada port system. If you may wish to take part, be sure to send in the form with the ROUNDTABLE checkbox checked.

Richmond will send its Ports Modernization Review report to other Metro Vancouver councils, but other councils’ members may receive it too late to use it before Dec 3. If you are a council member in Metro Vancouver or Western Canada, please use the fillable time-saving form to respond, and share it and urge other council members and citizens to do so. If you’re anyone else, please similarly use the form for your valuable input and share it.

Fraser Voices is urging action because we see the unaccountable VFPA (like an oligarchy) as very unfortunate for the health of the Fraser Estuary and the environment. As well, documentation that’s been buried since the Emerson era gives reason to think the WCPA would simultaneously be better for the maritime commerce of Western Canada, with a focus on cooperative service to the vast region, not on growing itself for growth’s sake.

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This article has introduced MP Joe Peschisolido of Steveston-Richmond East; Robin Silvester, long-time VFPA CEO with immense power; and former federal minister David Emerson, whose Gateway vision got blinkered by others. You can meet them again in other Fraser Voices articles, nearby on this blog, including a WCPA article and roundtable article. Please do!

The view from here is pretty clear that Robin Silvester and VFPA oligarchy are very adept at growing the VFPA but that the visionary thinking David Emerson showed and Joe Peschisolido respects offers the best prospects in a bigger picture.

A final thought about the input form (in Word version or PDF version): Please just send it off as soon as you finish it, even if you will have more input to the Ports Modernization Review. Since one can send input more then once, there’s no need to wait.

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Urge port-review ROUNDTABLES if you care, says MP Joe Peschisolido re Port Agency

November 24, 2018

MP Joe Peschisolido has indicated a need to “blow up” the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA). Despite the pyrotechnic glint in his eye, he simply means that VFPA would be easier to replace than to fix. He will enable the overdue Ports Review ROUNDTABLES if stakeholders urge them in their input. The Fraser Voices fillable Input Form makes that simple if one acts fast, since the deadline to email it is Monday, December 3. Download the form now in Word version or PDF version

If local council members, environmental groups and individuals do their part, they can succeed with MP Joe. Along with him, the ROUNDTABLES would likely include Transport Canada leaders and members of the federal Liberal Marine Ports Caucus, which MP Joe chairs. If that process gets the foreseeable results, it will be very good for BC’s ecological health, especially that of the Fraser Estuary and Salish Sea, and it will be good for the Pacific trade of Western Canada.

Why is MP Joe Peschisolido doing this?

He represents the Fraser River Estuary riding of Richmond-Steveston. He has knocked on many doors to hear constituents. He has also listened at his town hall meetings and to Richmond Council. He has heard much about the need for VFPA to change. While doing his job, with his listening and research, MP Joe has become a committed advocate for saving the ecological life of the Fraser from unbridled industrialization, as well as for combining commerce values with environmental ones in general.

In short, there has been longtime disappointment that Vancouver Fraser Port Authority does not collaborate with stakeholders—ports, terminals, all governments, organizations, etc., in BC and beyond, resolving concerns like these ones that the Fraser Voices Association (Richmond-based) and Against Port Expansion (Delta-based) put together. (Click on “concerns . .. ” for thorough, highly informed lists.)

Famously, Robin Silvester, CEO of VFPA, famously stated, “I don’t think we would be bound [by the Agricultural Land Reserve]. As a federal body here at Port Metro Vancouver, we have supremacy,” he said.

With motivation like that, MP Joe’s current commitment is to help the Ports Modernization Review end well and follow up in a further stage. Transport Canada’s consultation period for the Ports Review ends on Monday, December 3. Crucially, though, they haven’t held the many roundtable discussions they promised at the beginning. They appear to have held only one—for port authorities. Joe wants to make up for that.

As Marine Ports Caucus chair, MP Joe has committed to remain very involved in the review for months. In that role, he is also committed to ensuring BC roundtables about the port authorities (especially the Vancouver one) if council members, environmental groups and other individuals send “submissions” before Dec. 3 indicating that they wish to take part in roundtables he arranges.




Prince Rupert is one day closer to Asia than Vancouver—each way! This is one factor in a key proposal to replace the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority with a Western Canada Port Agency.

Download the fillable input form for Transport Canada’s Ports Modernization Review in Word version or PDF version.