Fin in the News "East Van residents vow to save 'sacred park' from planned Port of Vancouver expansion"

CBC News, June 03, 2016

East Vancouver residents are concerned that the view from their beloved Crab Park - on the edges of the Downtown Eastside - will soon be obscured by a multi-million dollar terminal expansion project.

A group of residents and community representatives, led by Vancouver-East MP Jenny Kwan, met with Port of Vancouver CEO Robin Silvester to voice their concerns about the proposed project.

Port Moody-Coquitlam MP Fin Donnelly was also present to voice his concerns about a new potash terminal in Port Moody.

"This is a sacred park for our community," Kwan said. "We fought long and hard for this park. We are demanding accountability from Port Metro Vancouver and we want to ensure that our neighbourhood's interests are protected and respected."

The park was opened in 1989 as a result of campaigning by community organizers - it is the only waterfront public green space in the Downtown Eastside.

Kwan says she's concerned the proposed expansion of the terminal westward by seven acres will obscure the view from the park and also increase traffic, noise and pollution around the park.

"We don't think this project should proceed," she said, adding that she will be participating in a rally to save Crab Park on June 11.

Project aims to increase terminal capacity

The port authority is proposing a $320-million expansion of the Centerm container terminal in Vancouver's inner harbour.

It would extend the terminal westward as well as reconfigure the terminal's road and rail access.

The port says the proposed changes will boost terminal capacity by two-thirds.

The Port of Vancouver is the busiest in Canada and the Centerm container terminal handles approximately one-fifth of the goods shipped in containers through Vancouver.

This particular project is being spearheaded by Centerm's private operator DP World Vancouver.

On its website, it says the project is in the "preliminary design phase" and must still undergo the Port of Vancouver's project and environmental review process before any work begins.

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