Letters: More ports needed for gateway to Pacific

Dear Editor,

To put it in perspective, the geographic location of Canada’s seagoing shipping Ports reveals the significance of the West Coast as the gateway to the Pacific Rim’s booming trade economies.

Eastern Canada’s 14 federal Ports are spread out approximately 4,000 kilometres, from Thunder Bay, through the Great Lakes, Windsor, Hamilton, Toronto, Oshawa, the Saint Lawrence Seaway, and Montreal plus four others in Quebec, and four more in the Maritimes to St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Western Canada’s four federal Ports are confined to Coastal B.C., with Port Alberni and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, Vancouver/Fraser River in the Lower Mainland, and Prince Rupert on the north coast.  

Rupert is growing, as it’s competitively closer to Asia and about a day faster than Vancouver for CN Rail container shipping to Chicago.   

The Port of Kitimat (a deep-water, ice-free port like Rupert) is a non-federal, District of Kitimat (private) port undergoing large expansion interests which will affect truck, rail, and pipeline transport to and from port.  

CN is improving and double-tracking much of its rail lines on the Prince George-to-Rupert route, which also makes it more viable to ship oil by rail.

The Fraser Valley is an unavoidably vital transport corridor of rail, truck, and pipeline for Canada’s economy, and expansion pressures are increasing.

In Western Canada, Oil by Rail is expected to more than triple in the next two years, from 200,000 barrels per day to 700,000. It’s quite possible to see more of it through the Fraser Valley.   

It’s unreasonable to expect a prosperous lifestyle by stifling growth, however our economic future, job prospects, social services, and more will rely on the decisions regarding these issues.

When you consider the history of eastern Canada, it’s not like we would be the first people to make such decisions.

Roland Seguin, Langley

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