A delegation protesting the proposed new coal terminal at Fraser Surrey Docks received full support from White Rock city council Monday night.
After hearing from the group of concerned residents – headed by Hannah Newman – all six councillors and Mayor Wayne Baldwin voted to back the opposition to the direct-transfer coal facility and a request to Port Metro Vancouver to cease consideration of the Fraser Surrey Docks application.
Aside from the lack of consultation and benefits to the city if more trains rolled in, Coun. Grant Meyer noted that there would be many other detrimental effects to residents if a new coal terminal is built.
“It’s not just the trains coming through our waterfront, it’s the transfer operations in our fishing grounds on the Fraser River, it’s the double handling of it at the Texada Island-Johnstone Strait in our fishing area and it’s the particulate coming to us from across the ocean, a week or two weeks after it’s burned in India or China,” he said.
Coun. Louise Hutchinson added that while the White Rock group had their support, the city’s hands were tied on preventing the increase in coal trains in the city.
She encouraged the delegation to continue voicing their displeasure with a “people-powered” campaign.
“We’ll support this, and hope that it goes further. But it’s the people who are stopping the building of the ports in the states – it’s not the council,” she said.
“I would hope that every single individual here is going to Transport Canada, Surrey Fraser Docks and to Port Metro and voicing their opinions there.”
As a result of the vote, the city will be sending letters to Port Metro Vancouver, Fraser Surrey Docks, the City of Surrey and Transport Canada informing them of the decision.