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Are Deltaport meetings just formality?

The Editor, Is it worth attending the next round of Port Metro Vancouver meetings on the Deltaport Terminal, road and rail improvement project? This question is the same one that one of our VAPOR (the YVR anti-jet fuel in the estuary group - also inv

The Editor,

Is it worth attending the next round of Port Metro Vancouver meetings on the Deltaport Terminal, road and rail improvement project?

This question is the same one that one of our VAPOR (the YVR anti-jet fuel in the estuary group - also involving PMV) members asked me the other day.

I question why PMV would hold another Roberts Bank Port Metro Vancouver public input 'opportunity' at this time in that many of us had to scramble to meet their Nov. 10 deadline for comments on their proposed expansion of their container handling infra-structure at Roberts Bank and on backup farmlands.

My rushed comments on their container handling upgrade at Deltaport took three hours to put together and they will get much less out of me in a meeting of several parties in just two hours (i.e. at the planned Richmond session.)

If this is an important input meeting, why hold it in the late morning of a work day?

One of our VAPOR members said they would like to attend but it would destroy a whole day of work for them and they cannot afford it!

The times of the other meetings are also a bit odd - the Vancouver one beginning at 7: 30 a.m.??

One issue that one runs into with agencies trying to control expenses (i.e. staff overtime) is to hold meetings during normal civil servant work hours and public convenience is ignored - or do they do it for other reasons?

I would see the meeting as an attempt by Port Metro Vancouver to show how close they are to the public consultation process and how open they are to meet with the public and above all to express their attention to environmental protection.

I, however, would not believe that!

I feel this meeting can only be window dressing with no real purpose that would allow us to express any new views on this development.

You will recall the very aggressive pro-development articles that the new PMV CEO (R.Silvester) had in the BC Business magazine and in a half page op-ed in the Vancouver Sun.

The most one will get out of these sessions is that you will be able to see some models, maps etc. of what they are going to do, and that is probably not to be altered by public input.

However I would strongly note that this review is out of context of the entire plan to greatly expand the Roberts Bank Port (Deltaport) complex. This small phase is just another foot in the door.

This must be said at the public consultation meetings. We should attend to show that we object to the approach PMV is taking to undermine a compete assessment of what they have planned for Roberts Bank and the entire associated area as affected by their ultimate port development project.

Otto Langer Fishery biologist and aquatic ecologist

For the complete letter, go to www.richmond-news. com.

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