Port Metro Vancouver is making decisions that favour industries represented on its board rather than the citizens in the region, said local politicians Feb. 27.
“All of the decisions are made in the interest of the very corporations who benefit from the Port,” said Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan, one of several mayors and councillors who grilled port officials at the Metro Vancouver meeting Friday.
Port Metro Vancouver’s board of directors is made up of 11 members, seven of which are appointed by the federal government by industry recommendations. Only one member of the board represents the 16 municipalities that border Port land. At the Metro Vancouver Regional Planning Committee meeting on Friday, Corrigan expressed his dissatisfaction with this power imbalance.
One example he gave of this is the use of the Vancouver terminal over the Fraser Surrey Docks. Corrigan said the Port should be looking to “short-sea ship” goods through to the Fraser Surrey Docks rather than trucking them from Vancouver and through the Lower Mainland, increasing pollution and congestion.
“It seems to me ridiculous that we are trucking out of the port, across bridges, through my community in order to get goods into the Fraser Valley,” Corrigan said. “It hasn’t occurred because many are controlling that industry from the Vancouver port.”
Corrigan said this is due to the governance structure of the board favouring industry interests.
“If this were an independent, impartial, objective board appointed in the public interest they would be looking seriously at those issues,” Corrigan said. “But as long as it remains a corporate board appointed to certain interests of the corporations that are working in the port, you’re not going to find those tough decisions being made.”