June 14, 2023 press conference highlights government’s weak reasoning to sacrifice wildlife and ecosystems in the name of jobs and economy, based on false justifications and incomplete facts
VANCOUVER / UNCEDED xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh AND səlilwətaɬ TERRITORIES —
Labour, community, and environmental groups have come together in a united front against the
controversial Roberts Bank Terminal 2 (RBT2) expansion project, holding a press conference
this morning at Crab Park. With the federal government’s recent approval and the decision now
resting with the B.C. government, these groups are determined to halt the project, citing its
detrimental impacts on wildlife, the environment and job security.
Today’s press conference was organized and endorsed by 13 organizations including the BC
General Employees’ Union, International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Georgia Strait
Alliance and the Wilderness Committee.
One major concern workers and unions raise is the threat of widespread automation in the
sector. Representatives of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union say that RBT2 will
reduce family-supporting jobs as existing terminals will be forced to automate to compete with
the fully automated RBT2. They emphasize the need for jobs that do not come at the expense
of the ecosystems that sustain us.
Speakers from environmental organizations at the press conference highlighted the project’s
impacts on migratory birds, southern resident killer whales (SRKW), and chinook salmon. These
species, already facing significant challenges, will be further endangered by the expansion. The
project’s environmental consequences exist despite the inclusion of 377 lacklustre mitigation
measures and are deemed unacceptable by the opposition groups. Moreover, concerns have
been raised about the consultation process.