Vancouver Fraser Port Authority reaches another mutual benefits agreement for Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project
The port authority has now signed mutual benefits agreements with 26 Indigenous groups who have provided consent for Roberts Bank Terminal 2
Since 2011, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has consulted with 46 Indigenous groups for Roberts Bank Terminal 2 and has sought agreements with 27 of these groups, based on proximity and interests and as directed by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.
Incorporating interests and priorities identified by Indigenous communities, the port authority has worked to formalize these agreements, which provide opportunities for environmental, cultural and economic initiatives associated with the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project. The latest mutual benefits agreement was signed last week, bringing the total to 26 Indigenous groups who have signed formal mutual benefits agreements and provided their support or consent for the project.
Our comprehensive, multi-phased consultation program has helped ensure the project is guided by Indigenous knowledge, values, and environmental and cultural stewardship.
In direct collaboration with Indigenous groups, the port authority has developed innovative mitigations, including crab baiting away programs and a commitment to create 86 hectares—the same size as approximately 567 hockey rinks—of offsetting habitat to support priority species, as identified by Indigenous groups, such as Chinook salmon and Dungeness crab.
We have also been studying biofilm and western sandpipers for more than 10 years, scoping studies and field programs with input from Indigenous groups, Indigenous knowledge holders, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and biofilm and western sandpiper experts. To support the expansion of knowledge and biofilm ecology, we are developing a biofilm habitat creation guidance manual in consultation with and input from Indigenous groups and technical experts, and we have been working with Indigenous groups to assess local biofilm habitat creation project opportunities.
Should Roberts Bank Terminal 2 be approved by the federal government, the port authority will continue to work closely with Indigenous groups that have signed mutual benefits agreements to support the implementation of these agreements and ensure that the benefits of the development, construction, and operation of the project are shared. As the project advances, there will also continue to be opportunities for input from all groups that we consult with to include Indigenous knowledge in programs and employment, training, and procurement.
Broader than this project alone, in 2021 we were honoured to sign landmark relationship agreements with Tsawwassen First Nation and Musqueam Indian Band. These agreements create the framework for long-term, meaningful relationships that will advance a strong, shared future marked by mutual respect and reconciliation.
About the project
The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project is a proposed container terminal in Delta, B.C. that is needed to ensure Canada is able to meet its trade objectives through the mid- to late-2030s. The project has been undergoing a federal environmental assessment since 2013. If approved, the project will support economic reconciliation by bringing meaningful benefits to Indigenous groups and communities.