About 100 people gathered in Surrey city council chambers Monday afternoon to express their oppostion to rail cars filled with coal travelling through Surrey.

City of Surrey opposes coal proposal

Council wants independent health assessment, public hearings over Fraser Surrey Docks plan.

About 100 people streamed into Surrey city council chambers Monday afternoon to express their objection to rail cars filled with coal traveling through Surrey.

The protest came as Fraser Surrey Docks is expected to soon release the results of an environmental impact assessment ordered by the port authority to further address public concerns about the project.

The terminal proposes to open a loading facility that would transfer coal coming by rail through White Rock and South Surrey to barges that would sail down the Fraser River and across the Strait of Georgia to Texada Island, where it would be transferred again to ocean-going ships.

Protesters said they’re not satisfied with assurances from Fraser Surrey Docks that coal dust will be carefully controlled and won’t escape and pose a risk to human health.

Many also oppose increased exports of U.S. thermal coal to Asia on grounds it will accelerate climate change.

“Coal dust and diesel particular matter cause a lot of respiratory illness and cancers” said Paula Williams, co-founder of the opposition group Communities and Coal. “There’s safety issues for people, there’s also emergency access cutoff.”

In all, the Communities and Coal organization has generated 11,000 online signatures on its petition against shipping coal by train to the U.S.

At just after 10 p.m., Surrey council voted unanimously to not support the Surrey Fraser Docks proposal and request Port Metro Vancouver to commission a comprehensive health impact assessment, conducted independently, as well as full public hearings on the project.

Surrey now joins New Westminster, White Rock, Langley and Vancouver in passing motions either opposing expanded coal exports outright or calling for public hearings and comprehensive, independent review of impacts before a decision is made.

The Metro Vancouver Board of Directors voted 21 to four to oppose outright the Fraser Surrey Docks project. Numerous MLAs and MPs have also written in opposition to the project.

On Sunday, more than 200 people demonstrated at a rally in New Westminster to register their opposition to expanded exports of coal through Port Metro Vancouver.

The new terminal would export up to four million tonnes of coal per year.

Although that’s much less than the coal shipments already exported through the region via terminals at Deltaport and North Vancouver, opponents argue it could be a first step toward greatly increased shipments out of Surrey.

The final decision is the port’s but opponents hope intensifying public pressure and concerns lodged by some local city councils, the Metro Vancouver board and the region’s medical health officers will kill the project.

– with files from CTV

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Surrey rally supports Mona Wang, calls for wellness check reform

Security camera footage shows Wang being dragged, stepped on during RCMP wellness check at UBCO

Filming applications ‘coming in slowly’ to the City of Surrey

Netflix cancels ‘Sabrina’, but filming manager says new calls coming in to film in Cloverdale

‘Did anything good come out of my son’s overdose death?’ – South Surrey mom

Maggie Plett says action still needed on recovery homes

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

JULY 11: B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m.

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Man shot dead in east Abbotsford suburbs

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team called to investigate

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

Most Read

l -->