Several months ago MP Russ Hiebert noted he had concerns about the proposed Fraser Surrey Docks coal handling facility, with trains spewing coal dust while leaving diesel particulates all along the path – from our pristine beaches, along the corridor through Burns Bog, up through the Fraser River estuary region, to the proposed holding facility at Fraser Surrey Docks.
Yet he stated he just didn’t have any authority to do anything. This from our three-times elected member of parliament.
On May 30, Dr. Van Buynder of Fraser Health called for Port Metro Vancouver to conduct a full health impact assessment.
For a full three months, nothing was heard.
Now, after considerable public concern in the form of 10,000-plus petition signatures by Communities and Coal and from thousands of others who have contacted Port Metro Vancouver, they have agreed to conduct a truncated environmental impact assessment.
Unfortunately, it falls far short of the Fraser Health Authority’s call for a full health impact assessment.
Well, now is the time for Mr. Hiebert to stand up and be an advocate for his constituents.
All he has to do is send two letters to Port Metro Vancouver calling on them to comply fully with the health impact assessment and urging them to support the democratic process by agreeing to hold public hearings, which have been called for by councils in Vancouver, New Westminster, White Rock, and Surrey.
This is a facility which will create only 15 full-time jobs, with nominal economic benefits for Canada, and huge negative implications in the form of health, safety, fisheries and agricultural concerns.
And who benefits one might ask? Warren Buffett and American thermal coal.
It is time Mr. Hiebert stood on our side on this issue. If not now, when?
Romi and Roger Mattu