LETTER: Port Metro Vancouver math doesn’t add up

The Editor,

Re: "Coal safely shipped for decades: PMV," the Now letters, Sept. 2.

It is important to correct the misinformation contained in the letter from Port Metro Vancouver’s Peter Xotta.

It seems that Mr. Xotta wants us to believe that one additional train per day is somehow considerably less than 640 trains annually. It seems to me that he has either a poor understanding of mathematics and train operations, or is deliberately trying to deceive the public.

Either way, it indicates that no confidence can be placed on any statements made by Port Metro Vancouver.

Last time I looked, there were 365 days in a year, and one coal shipment actually involves two train movements – one fully loaded going to the port and one returning empty from the port. So, even his using his own admission of one coal train per day, that actually results in 730 additional train movements annually.

Equally disingenuous is Peter Xotta’s assertion that "coal has been safely shipped through the port for decades." He seems to have conveniently forgotten that a derailment took place in January this very year, in Burnaby on the way to Neptune Bulk Terminals in North Vancouver. Seven cars of a 152-car coal train fell off the tracks, spilling coal into a creek feeding a nearby lake. Another attempt to mislead the public, it seems.

Keith G. Knightson,

White Rock

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