Advocate seeks info from Park Board on negotiations, proposed Centerm port expansion impacts on Crab Park, on shores of Burrard Inlet

We are sharing a copy of of a letter from Don Larson, long-time advocate for the creation and protection of Crab Park on the shores of Burrard Inlet. In his letter to the Vancouver Park Board he is seeking information and improvements in public consultation regarding a proposed major expansion to the port facilities, with impacts on views, ecosystem, safety, and also public enjoyment of the park.

I am shocked to see evidence that the Park Board is already
addressing compensation funds for a project that is
supposedly only in the early preliminary stages of approval.

Don Larson

Full text of his letter follows

CRAB Park Water for Life Society logo

June 13, 2016

To:   Chairperson Sarah Kirby-Yung, Vancouver Park Board
Kate Hodgson, Executive Director, RayCam Community Center
Re:  Letter of February 23rd 2016 hand delivered to a RayCam Board Meeting regarding
Compensation Funds from Centerm Proposal Impacts.

There was letter from Vancouver Park Board staff, Dave Hutch, that was hand delivered by Commissioner Stuart MacKinnon and given to Kate Hodgson at a RayCam Board meeting February 23rd , in reference to compensation funds to the community for potential negative environmental impacts on Crab Park from the proposed Centerm Pier expansion.

I was shown one page of the letter, briefly, where one line was underlined by Commissioner MacKinnon, stating that DTES community groups would be compensated by funds for the negative impacts on Crab Park by the proposed Centerm Pier expansion.

In a subsequent phone call, I left a message asking for a copy of this letter by Dave Hutch from Kate Hodgson but have received no reply to date.  In a follow-up letter of February 25th [attached below] sent to Park Board Commissioners, Mayor and Council,  Jenny Kwan MP and Melanie Mark MLA we stated at the end of the letter: I am shocked to see evidence that the Park Board is already addressing compensation funds for a project that is supposedly only in the early preliminary stages of approval.”

On behalf of Crab-Water for Life Society, I call on the Park Board and RayCam to release this letter written by Park Board staff Dave Hutch, to the DTES community including a copy to myself and our local MP and MLA.  We believe this is a central and key document to our opposition of the Centerm proposal.  We oppose the Centerm Proposal and oppose the attempt to buy out community groups.

Regards:
Don Larson

Enc:     Letter to Park Board, MP, MLA and Mayor on February 25, 2016
Impactful new photo of chemical fire at Centerm from wider angle than previous images.

**************

Enc:        Letter sent to the Park Board and Commissioners on February 25 2016

At a RayCam Board meeting February 23rd 2016,  Commissioner Stuart MacKinnon showed to me, and then presented to RayCam Chair Kate Hodgson, a letter regarding compensations funds to the Community for [negative] impacts of the proposed Centerm Container Pier expansion on Crab Park at Portside.

There seems to be a breakdown of proper process and open democracy regarding the $320,000,000.00 dollar Port Metro Vancouver and DP World Centerm Expansion Proposal.

The community of residents who presently have been enjoying Crab Park at Portside since 1987, have not been properly notified of the impacts visually and environmentally of this project.

Residents at the RayCam Board meeting were very concerned about the dangers that a container fire on the Centerm dock exposed the community to, such as the toxic fire incident that took place March 4, 2015.  The Vancouver Sun described at that time as “a massive plume of toxic smoke into the air, sending more than a dozen people to hospital.”

2015 March 4th Centerm Port fire from wide angle

Centerm Port toxic chemical fire, Vancouver, March 4, 2015 

There exists no real way of evacuating the population impacted, in the event of another occurrence.   How do you evacuate the many downtown residents and workers including the elderly, people with disabilities, drug users, and the transient street population of the DTES?

DP World’s Centerm proposal would include a train system reaching to the entire length of the extended proposed pier.  And there would be a 66% increase in the movement of their container traffic.

For the record, only two groups have historically been directly involved with Crab Park at Portside over the past two or more decades.  They are Crab-Water for Life Society [Founder of the Park] and RayCam Community Center [summer children’s programs].

I am shocked to see evidence that the Park Board is already addressing compensation funds for a project that is supposedly only in the early preliminary stages of approval.

Don Larson,

Cc:   Mayor and Council,  MP Jenny Kwan, MLA Melanie Mark

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