Coal is exported from Westshore Terminals at Deltaport. A proposed new terminal at Fraser Surrey Docks would consist of an enclosed facility to transfer coal from trains to barges.

Poll finds even split on new Surrey coal terminal

Few respondents aware of Fraser Surrey Docks proposal to increase coal exports



A new poll of Lower Mainland residents on the issue of increased coal exports has found opinion is nearly evenly split on a proposed new terminal in Surrey.

The survey by Insights West found 32 per cent support the $15-milllion coal-handling facility at Fraser Surrey Docks, 31 per cent oppose it and 36 per cent are undecided.

A large proportion of respondents weren’t familiar with the proposal, which would bring more coal trains through White Rock and South Surrey and send coal-laden barges down the Fraser River to Texada Island, for transfer to ocean-going ships.

Insights West vice-president Mario Canseco said the findings show area residents are of two minds on coal.

Seventy-two percent believe the new Surrey terminal will create jobs and 62 per cent said coal is a significant contributor to the B.C. economy.

But more than two-thirds of residents also see coal dust as an environmental threat.

And 55 per cent said they wouldn’t support expanded coal shipments from the region because coal is a major contributor to climate change.

Canseco said Metro Vancouverites’ awareness of the project is low compared to past surveys that found large majorities of B.C. residents know about proposed new oil pipelines.

“At this point, the environmental concerns from residents are evident but there is also wide agreement on the economic benefits,” Canseco said.

Two-thirds of respondents also agreed that coal will just be shipped from other areas if new export terminals aren’t built here.

The survey in June of 752 Lower Mainland adults didn’t tackle the two different types of coal handled in the region.

Metallurgical coal, used in steel-making, has been shipped through Metro Vancouver for decades and comes from B.C. mines.

The contentious Surrey terminal would be built to handle up to eight million tonnes per year of U.S. thermal coal, which is a much bigger source of greenhouse gas emissions when burned for power.

Another coal terminal expansion handling metallurgical coal has been approved by the port authority in North Vancouver, but work is not yet underway.

The regional district has opposed the Fraser Surrey Docks proposal and medical health officers want a health impact assessment prior to an approval decision by Port Metro Vancouver.

COAL-FIRED OPINIONS | Create infographics

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP look for missing man

Tyler Ridout, 36, last seen near Balsam Crescent and 136th Street

Police watchdog investigating death of man in Delta

Independent Investigations Office asking for witnesses to May 29 incident at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Safe Surrey under fire for ‘sickening’ social media posts accusing RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

B.C. government releases designs for new Pattullo Bridge

Project expected to cost $1.377 billion, completed by end of 2023

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

B.C.’s police watchdog probing death of Richmond man in alleged shoplifting incident

Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is asking any witnesses to come forward

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Most Read