The B.C. Gateway Program may well be the most harmful transportation infrastructure project in the history of BC if not all of Canada.
The estimate 10 billion dollar proposal includes new and expanded port infrastructure, highways, bridges, rail yards, and container terminals to facilitate importing more goods from China and elsewhere in the Asia Pacific and exporting more of B.C.'s non-renewable resources. Meanwhile demand for international shipping is declining due to the problems in the global economy.
Gateway would drastically increase our contribution to global warming and would negatively impact endangered species including the magnificent Orca whales and the habitat needed for thousands of migratory birds. Gateway would generate suburban sprawl and impact over 1,000 acres of farmland.
The Gateway Project was designed by the Gateway Council, a lobby group made up of Industry representatives.
This project in effect is a de-railing of the Livable Region Strategic Plan which was the result of extensive public consultation and meaningful dialogue after a similar highway expansion was canceled due to public opposition nearly 40 years ago.
Whereas the Gateway Project proposes the construction of two new highways, the North Perimeter Road and South Perimeter Road on either side of the Fraser River, the expansion of the No. 1 Freeway between Vancouver and Langley, the twinning of the Port Mann Bridge and the expansion of Deltaport at the mouth of the Fraser River;
Whereas the new roads, bridges and expanded freeway, if constructed, will result in more cars and commercial trucks using the roadways which will dramatically increase traffic congestion, pollution, and vehicle accidents throughout the Greater Vancouver Region;
Whereas the new roads, bridges and expanded freeway, if constructed, will result in drastically increased suburban sprawl in the Fraser Valley resulting in loss of farmland and wildlife habitat;
Whereas the construction, dredging, and fill at Deltaport at the mouth of the Fraser River, the most prolific salmon river in the world, will have devastating results to the habitat for fish, birds and whales;
Whereas the Gateway Project is forecast to cost BC taxpayers $3 billion (not including federal funding as part of estimated overall costs of $10 billion) or more; and
Whereas many people would prefer to see new port infrastructure located away from the mouth of the Fraser River, and transit (such as more buses and light rail) used to transport people in line with the Livable Region Strategic Plan, instead of an expanded freeway and road network;
Your petitioners respectfully request that the Honourable House abandon the Gateway Project, and instead allow the people of the Greater Vancouver Region to choose a plan to move people and goods throughout the Lower Mainland in an environmentally responsible manner.