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Vancouver port terminal expansion prompts call to enlarge Crab Park

The view of the north shore mountains and Burrard Inlet from Crab Park.
The view of the north shore mountains and Burrard Inlet from Crab Park. Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press

A Vancouver park commissioner is calling for the expansion of a popular waterfront park, amid plans for the city’s main port facility.

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority was granted a permit to expand the Centerm container terminal in April 2018, with construction slated for summer 2019.

READ MORE: Rally held to protect Crab Park from proposed Port of Vancouver expansion

The project will include expanding the facility’s footprint by 15 per cent, extending it to the west with an infill in Burrard Inlet.

A diagram illustrating the planned expansion of Vancouver’s Centerm port terminal.
A diagram illustrating the planned expansion of Vancouver’s Centerm port terminal. Port of Vancouver
According to a motion by Park Commissioner John Irwin, that will “greatly impair the view of the ocean and [North Shore Mountains] from Crab Park,” which the city holds through a long-term lease with the port authority.
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Irwin wants the board to ask the port authority to extend the lease area to include a parking lot on the park’s west side, which he says would offset perceived impacts to park users.

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The motion also calls for the port authority to provide funds for upgrading green space in the park, the construction of a new arts and cultural centre and the development of a new pedestrian overpass to Columbia Street in Gastown.

The port expansion has been controversial, with opponents arguing it would ruin views of the waterfront and inlet. Activists in the Downtown Eastside have also argued that the park offers one of the few accessible green spaces in the inner city.

The port authority says the expansion is needed to meet growing demand, and will increase container handling capacity by two-thirds from 900,000 containers to 1.5 million containers, while creating 330 new long-term jobs.

The Park Board will consider Irwin’s motion on Monday.

WATCH: First Nations against Roberts Bank Terminal 2 (Jan. 30)

First Nations against Roberts Bank Terminal 2
First Nations against Roberts Bank Terminal 2