Thursday, January 03, 2008

 

Why were 3 ports merged?

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This quote from B.C. Hansard was found by Lynx who says:

This is just an excerpt from Hansard (February 27, 2007) with NDP MLA Guy Gentner asking some really good questions about this port merger. (It is worthwhile reading his whole commentary at:

http://www.leg.bc.ca/Hansard/38th3rd/h70227p.htm#5596

Guy Gentner:

When you look at the globalization, it all starts at one place. All things start at the port. We hear all the accolades about the Pacific gateway and the provincial gateway and how the wonderful trade is going to enhance our lives. Well, trade is not a commodity. We are very vulnerable in the global community. If you read the Bloomberg report, Canadian stocks fell the most they have in eight weeks after a huge overnight slump in the Canadian stock market. That has raised concern that demand for commodities may slow in the world's fastest-growing major economy — the Chinese economy, which is driving the Gateway program.

Companies and financial experts are saying: "Don't panic. Don't move your assets into bonds yet. Let's give it a day or two." Hot off the press: "Chinese stocks tumble the most in ten years after the government approved a special task force to clamp down on illegal share offerings. The index dropped 9.2 percent, wiping out $100 billion from a stock market that doubled in the past year."

That's how vulnerable we are. We can put all your money into these assets to build this infrastructure, to bring on the trade, but when you're dealing with globalized trade, it can change in a flicker.

The government has been sort of mute on the point that there's going to be a merging of the ports, something that the throne speech talked about briefly — about gateway and the same with that of the global economy, the Asia-Pacific. The merging of ports, of course, is a derivative of the globalized approach of this government. The merging of the ports, however, doesn't address at all the local interests of communities that are wondering what type of influence they're going to have when you have this consolidation of interests on one megaport. That's lost.

We know why the port is being merged — namely, because the Vancouver Port Authority is looking for more land from the Fraser Port Authority. Of course, one of the big reasons given is the need for efficiencies. But if there were efficiencies put together and we were able to put those ports together and make it work…. I don't necessarily believe you have to put $1.3 billion in a South Fraser perimeter road if you're going to make sure those ports work.

What is being suggested through this budget is something that is not sustainable, because what it's going to do is wipe out the farmland in the lower mainland. It's going to wipe out Burns Bog, contrary to what members opposite say — that it won't. It's going to impact the Fraser River, the most important salmon-bearing river in North America if not the world.

Close your eyes for a moment and think for a second that all that we have fought for when it comes to land, land use planning, will be wiped out by the avaricious nature of the government opposite.

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Lynx concludes: Gentner can be found in Hansard again asking more questions in this regard to Falcon on March 28, 2007, afternoon sitting.

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