Barge loading could return to Mission

Using the Fraser River would take hundreds of trucks off the roads

Mission’s mayor wants to bring barge loading back to the waterfront and he will be asking city staff to look into the issue at the next council meeting on Monday, July 15.

The district’s waterfront industrial zoning currently doesn’t allow such use, but Mayor Ted Adlem believes giving businesses this tool will help create “good paying jobs” and improve the economy in the community.

He told The Record several people have expressed concerns about the bylaw, and there isn’t a particular business pushing for the change.

“We’ve been fighting for the river to be a form of transportation forever,” said Adlem, pointing out taking a barge full of logs down the river is one-tenth the cost of having a truck on the road.

Mission banned barge loading along the waterfront in 2007, but about a half dozen properties were grandfathered.

Property owner Steve Wynnyk, who represented the now-defunct Mission Manufacturers’ and Industrial Ratepayers’ Association opposed the restriction at the time, and is now “very happy” to work with the “progressive council”.

There are a lot of business opportunities along the Fraser for Mission, he noted.

On the Matsqui side, barges of aggregate are shipped to Vancouver, taking hundreds of trucks off the road, Wynnyk added. He estimates one barge is equal to 200 to 300 truckloads of gravel.

According to Wynnyk, there is already interest in creating a log-sorting facility near Chester Street, and reversing the bylaw will encourage more industrial business.

“Our Fraser River is totally under-utilized for river traffic,” he said.

Erv Mihalicz, manager of operations for Catherwood Towing, agrees.

“The Fraser River from New West to above the Mission Bridge is not even running at a shadow of its capacity,” said Mihalicz when asked about the impact of increased river traffic on his business.

Mihalicz said he was appalled the restriction was ever approved in the first place.

“At the end of the day, it costs our society in all kinds of tangible ways.”

Mihalicz explained it limits business development, employment opportunities, and negatively affects traffic on roads, and greenhouse gases.

Catherwood Towing is busy already with its day-to-day operations, but allowing barge loading will give the business a chance to grow and offer other services to clients, he said.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Mission Farmers Market holds annual indoor event

Seedy Saturday attracted a large crowd to Heritage Park School as spring approaches

Race and sport examined at new We Are Hockey exhibit in Abbotsford

UFV SASI hosting exhibit looking at hockey history and race

‘Long Island Medium’ Theresa Caputo comes to Abbotsford

Star of hit TV show appears at Abbotsford Centre on April 7

Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards presented to seven recipients

Four from Abbotsford among winners during ceremony on Thursday night

Gas prices spike in Lower Mainland

Two of B.C.’s major fuel suppliers are undergoing maintenance

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Chilliwack grad says modest dress codes don’t protect girls from assault

Sardis alumni was ‘catcalled, harassed, and groped by my male classmates’ despite modest clothing

One of the biggest cow shows in Canada is coming back to the ‘Wack

Prize money of $240,000 is on offer at the spring Holstein show Friday at Chilliwack Heritage Park

‘Considerably large’ tractor tire fell and killed 3-year-old girl on B.C. farm

Delta’s deputy fire chief said crews tried to helicopter girl out after a tractor tire leaning against a barn fell onto her

Nearly 40% of British Columbians not taking their medications correctly: poll

Introduction of legal cannabis could cause more issues for drug interactions

Mining company fined $70,000 after two workers killed in B.C. truck crash

Broda Construction pleaded guilty to failing to provide safe workplace at Cranbrook rock quarry

Most Read