Do you wonder where all the container trucks will go as the port expands or as the South Fraser Perimeter Road opens? Have you wondered when the road closures on highways 10 and 99 will end?
Do you worry about the decreasing number of birds calling at your feeder? Are you concerned about light pollution at night?
If these issues concern you, consider attending a citizen forum tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Sundance Inn in East Ladner. It will have spokespersons and commentators on what is happening and what is scheduled to happen in South Delta. The focus is the impact of the Roberts Bank port and its expansion. Not to discourage you, but I will be one of the speakers.
Port Metro Vancouver intends to increase its container capacity somewhere between two times and four times over the next decade.
This will involve creating a massive artificial island in the ocean next to the current port, a dramatic increase in train tracks and trains running 24/7, many, many more trucks, and with all of this a loss of hundreds of acres of farmland and increased air pollution.
You see, some folks in Ottawa have concluded we need to dramatically increase the goods coming to North America by routing them though Roberts Bank. The decision is being made elsewhere and - sorry - you are not being asked if you want of this in your back yard. They believe they can simply "do it." It's part of the obsolete concept of economy overpowering the environment.
Expropriation by government has been a part of democracy for centuries. Legislation provides for it when it is "in the national interest." It becomes misused when commercial interests (railways, etc.) convince government their economic interests cannot be met unless the folks in South Delta get all of this imposed upon them.
So Ottawa says: minimal consultation and just proceed. This extends to environmental concerns where the outfit that is going to expand gets to do its own environmental studies. When it finds there will be adverse effects, the word "mitigation" quickly gets into the press release.
So if you want to learn about what's coming, and what you and I can do about it, you might want to spend Saturday afternoon (tomorrow) at the session.
In academia, folks get a sabbatical (time out) after several years.
So it will be for me. After crafting this column every three weeks over the past seven years, I am going to take a break and recharge.
I'm not going out to pasture - on the contrary, I will be involved in the upcoming B.C. election and need to separate that effort from writing for the Optimist. You will be well served by others who will keep "their eye on the puck" for you.