In last week’s edition of the Northern View, the T. Buck Suzuki Foundation wrongly implied that the Prince Rupert Port Authority is “part of a scheme that could ship oil by rail”.
Here are the facts. The Prince Rupert Port Authority has a mandate to promote and facilitate trade in a way that is environmentally sustainable, socially responsible, and economically beneficial for Canadians.
We have invested countless hours of planning and millions of dollars of infrastructure investment into Prince Rupert to ensure we live up to that mandate. The Road Rail Utility Corridor project and the integrated development plan for Ridley Island is an example of that kind of forward thinking. Contrary to the claims made by the T. Buck Suzuki Foundation, future land use plans have been identified and are available to the public.
We continue to review and revise our harbour policies, procedures and technologies to make sure we’re ready for growth in shipping activity even before it happens, regardless of the cargo. Expanding anchorages, adding navigational aids and implementing shore radar are key elements of making a safe harbour even safer.
Accordingly, the Ridley Island Industrial Site is the location of proposed terminals designed specifically to handle LNG and potash cargo.
Further, the environmental impact of every project is scrutinized as required by B.C. and Canadian legislation. Extensive consultation with First Nations and community groups is undertaken by project proponents before a final investment decision is reached.
In short, development at the Port of Prince Rupert (PRPA) occurs well within the gaze of the public as well as regulatory agencies.
Proponents often bring terminal proposals to us for consideration and evaluation but most do not go further than this. We see proposals for a wide variety of potential cargoes, from automobiles to iron ore to petroleum products — Canada’s key export sectors.
While there is no project currently underway to develop oil shipping capacity, the Port Authority does not discriminate against potential cargoes or projects, but evaluates their worth based on the criteria described above.
Director, PRPA Public Affairs