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Vancouver Fraser Port Authority announces $1 million funding to support local channel dredging

August 10, 2021

Vancouver, B.C.: The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority today announced $1 million in funding towards a near-term dredging solution to support key Delta channels, focusing on Ladner Harbour and Gunderson Slough.

Dredging is the careful removal of sediment and debris from the bottom of a body of water, such as a river, lake, or harbour. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority dredges deep sea channels to support Canada’s trade. For 10 years and as a gesture of good will, the port authority committed to providing a $7 million interim dredging solution to support the Fraser River communities. As the funding for the program has now concluded, the port authority is working with government to identify other sources of funding that will provide a longer-term solution to support dredging in the local channels.

In order to protect fish stocks, dredging is not permitted from March through mid-July each year. More recently, due to concerns over at-risk white sturgeon, the dredging window for local channels has been restricted to between November and February each season. As such, the port authority will be issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to complete the dredging work.

I am pleased to see the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority make this important investment in the prosperity and safety of our life on the Fraser River. I have been working closely on this issue with community leaders and local stakeholders, and have clearly seen the impact on First Nations, commercial and recreational fishers, downstream fish processors, and float home owners. I thank the Ladner Sediment Group and the City of Delta for their tireless work. We need a long-term sustainable strategy with ongoing funding for these channels to ensure efficient access to markets and maritime safety. This is an important first step. I am encouraged by the leadership of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority in moving forward on this, and I welcome their commitment to finding a long-term solution.”

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and Member of Parliament for Delta

Dredging these channels will make it easier for vessels to safely navigate and potentially can help local biodiversity. We look forward to working with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and other partners to find an ongoing, sustainable, long-term solution to dredging the Fraser River.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport

“Dredging in the main arm of the Fraser River is essential to ensure that the port authority can continue to support trade and meet Transport Canada’s safe navigation requirements. We are pleased to support the governments as they work together to find a long-term, sustainable solution for local channel dredging that will protect the environment and benefit local communities.”

Robin Silvester, president and chief executive officer of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

Media contact:

Matti Polychronis
Media relations advisor
[email protected]

About the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and the Port of Vancouver

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is the federal agency responsible for the stewardship of the Port of Vancouver. Like all Canada Port Authorities, we are accountable to the federal minister of transport, and operate pursuant to the Canada Marine Act with a mandate to enable Canada’s trade through the Port of Vancouver, while protecting the environment and considering local communities. The port authority is structured as a non-share corporation, is financially self-sufficient and does not rely on tax dollars for operations. Our revenues come from port terminals and tenants who lease port lands, and from port users who pay various fees such as harbour dues. Profits are reinvested in port infrastructure. The port authority has control over the use of port land and water, which includes more than 16,000 hectares of water, over 1,500 hectares of land, and approximately 350 kilometres of shoreline. Located on the southwest coast of British Columbia in Canada, the Port of Vancouver extends from Roberts Bank and the Fraser River up to and including Burrard Inlet, bordering 16 municipalities and intersecting the traditional territories and treaty lands of several Coast Salish First Nations. The Port of Vancouver is Canada’s largest port, and the third largest in North America by tonnes of cargo. Enabling the trade of approximately $240 billion in goods with more than 170 countries, port activities sustain 115,300 jobs, $7 billion in wages, and $11.9 billion in GDP across Canada.

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