Federal Court of Canada conclusively rejects GCT’s allegations of bias against the port authority

August 4, 2022

On July 26, 2022, the Federal Court of Canada categorically rejected GCT Canada Limited Partnership (GCT)’s claims of bias against the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority in pursuing the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 (RBT2) Project, a proposed new marine container terminal on Canada’s west coast, over GCT’s proposed Deltaport Berth Four Project. The court confirmed the port authority has the right and responsibility to pursue the project (RBT2) it considers in the best interests of Canada’s trading needs and ordered GCT to pay court-awarded costs to the port authority. 

For several years, GCT, a marine container terminal operator with two terminals at the Port of Vancouver, has publicly opposed the port authority-led RBT2 Project and their actions included filing a legal challenge in the Federal Court of Canada, alleging the port authority was biased against GCT’s proposed expansion at its Deltaport facility at the Port of Vancouver. 

The Federal Court of Canada’s findings were clear and unequivocal, and included the following statements: 

  • The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority “has the discretion to refuse to authorize activities that are inconsistent with its long-term development plans and, in its reasonable opinion, the commercial interests of the Port of Vancouver” 
  • While GCT offered a “number of hypotheses purporting to be evidence of a closed mind on the part of the port authority”, it was “cherry picking elements of the factual record in an attempt to create a reoccurring theme that is difficult to uphold…”   
  • “In the end, insinuations are not reality, and asserting them does not make it so.” 

The port authority continues to advance the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project, under its public-interest mandate to enable Canada’s trade through the Port of Vancouver. The proposed project would increase container capacity on the west coast by 30% and has been designed to incrementally deliver a total of 2.4 million TEUs of capacity at the Port of Vancouver, delivering critical supply chain capacity and resilience.  

The project is pending a decision by the federal government before it can proceed.   

For additional details, see the full text of the Federal Court of Canada’s decision, which includes a discussion of the history of the litigation.