The Gateway Project is a plan to expand Canada's trade with the Asia Pacific region in fundamentally un-sustainable ways. The estimated $10 billion proposal includes new and expanded port infrastructure, highways, and bridges; all to facilitate the import of more disposable goods from the Asia Pacific and export of more B.C.’s non-renewable resources. There is still an opportunity to stop this project.
The Gateway Project would drastically increase the Lower Mainland’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and pollution levels. Emission Levels would increase due to the tripling of shipping vessels and heavy truck traffic off Deltaport that will feed new traffic onto proposed roadways such as the South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR), the twinned Port Mann Bridge, the widened Highway 1, and then into the heart of the Lower Mainland. To make matters worse, the Gateway Project would create car dependent suburban sprawl, which starves public transit by monopolizing billions of dollars in public transportation funding. In a public opinion poll 69% of Lower Mainland residents said they would like to see money currently designated for highway construction to be re-directed to public transit in light of concerns about global warming.
The B.C. Treasury Board stated that 3 times as many jobs could be created by investing in public transit compared to investing the same amount in highway construction.
Other possible impacts from the B.C.’s Gateway Program
- The SFPR would seriously harm Burns Bog, the lungs of the Lower Mainland and our carbon sink (natural removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere).
- The expansion of Deltaport on Roberts Bank would seriously impact migratory birds such as the sandpiper, which rely on the region to survive as they fly north. Also, the port expansion may severely impact orca whales whose populations in the area are currently in decline.
- Salmon in the Fraser River are also at risk from the massive increase in pollution that will be produced along the north and south banks of the Fraser due to the perimeter roads as well the soon to be double-congested Port Mann Bridge.
- Hundreds of hectares of farmland would be paved over, some of which are B.C.’s most fertile.
- The plan also includes the building of a "gateway pipeline" across northern BC to drastically increase the export of oil from the tar sands to China and other Asia Pacific countries that are notorious for lax environmental standards.
The Gateway mega project contradicts the Livable Region Strategic Plan, which was the last democratic process held around the region. We now have the choice between the current Gateway plan or an expansion of our Livable Region Strategic Plan. This plan serves as the regional smart growth strategy for the Vancouver lower mainland and is based on internationally recognized smart growth principles.
We have a chance to stabilize our economy and our climate by investing in clean, green jobs and smart projects like reliable and affordable public transit. We need green budgets, not bail-outs of wasteful and dangerous boondoggles like the Gateway Project.Gateway to What Photo Petition