Calgary – The Canada West Foundation (CWF) has welcomed the federal government’s approval last Thursday of the Port of Vancouver’s Roberts Bank Terminal 2 expansion. This decision sends a much-needed positive signal to global markets that Canada can build the infrastructure needed to enable trade, the CWF declared.
“The federal government’s Indo-Pacific Strategy recognizes the importance of the Indo-Pacific region and calls it a once-in-a-generation global shift,” stressed Carlo Dade, Director of CWF’s Trade and Development Centre. “A generational challenge requires generational infrastructure, and the Roberts Bank expansion is that sort of investment.”
Research by CWF has underlined the importance of trade for Canada. The Port of Vancouver currently moves one-third of all products exported from Canada to regions outside North America. Nineteen per cent of Saskatchewan’s GDP and eight per cent of Alberta’s GDP flow through the port. The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 expansion will enable the country to keep pace as the influence of the Indo-Pacific region continues to rise – an opportunity the federal government calls a “once-in-a-generation global shift”—and will enable Canada’s provinces to trade with these growing markets to the West.
The environmental approval process took over 12 years and involved numerous changes by the Port in response to the concerns of stakeholders and Indigenous groups. CWF strongly supports an approval process that is transparent, robust, inclusive, fair and evidence-based—so that what is built, is built right.
“However, environmental review should be efficient as well as effective,” the CWF said. “While the review process for the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project was not a good example of timely approval, we are encouraged by the federal government’s recent focus on improving regulatory efficiency, which was allotted $1.3 billion in the federal budget.”
(Artist rendering of RBT2 project by VFPA)