Burnaby mayor calls BC “banana republic” over coal port review
Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan pulled no punches at a recent council meeting, criticizing the undemocratic process being led by Port Metro Vancouver to drive coal port expansion.
Corrigan calls out the port authority and controversial Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavalin, tapped to conduct environmental assessment work for the proposer Fraser Surrey Docks coal port expansion, suggesting that BC is becoming a “banana republic”. The comments were captured in video posted to youtube Eoghan Moriarty.
“The majority of directors on Port Metro Vancouver are appointed by the very companies that stand to economically benefit from these decisions,” Corrgian explained. “So they go out and hire SNC-Lavalin to do the report for them.”
“And yet, here in BC,” Corrigan continued, “they’re the independent organization brought in to do environmental assessments for the very board appointed by the companies who benefit from the environmental assessment. This is crazy. This is completely losing control of any public interest in these kind of projects whatsoever.”
Corrigan criticized the controversial plan to ramp up American coal exports to Asia through Surrey Fraser Docks.
“So here we are, with the Fraser Surrey Docks being utilized to bring in American coal that’s been refused in American ports to ship overseas,” said Corrigan, “…as if we’re not all sharing the same air shed and that that dirty coal isn’t going to blow right back into our atmosphere. It’s insanity.”
Corrigan raised what is becoming a common theme – the growing divide between local governments like Vancouver and Burnaby, both of which are opposing Kinder Morgan’s plans to vastly expand oil tanker traffic through the region, and senior governments driving these projects.