With two councillors absent, and only three voting in favour, I am shocked and disappointed with Mission council’s decision to lift the moratorium on Fraser River barging.
Ecologically, the Fraser River is renowned worldwide for the salmon fisheries, and sturgeon production. Any disturbance such as that produced by barging will cause further risk to these fish stocks, such as impacting breeding areas, egg production, and sturgeon beds.
Economically, there could be huge consequences in many aspects. The wash from the barges travelling along the River can impact the banks causing erosion and destroying riparian cover, affecting wildlife, and damaging housing, commercial and industrial buildings,etc. along the river.
In addition to that, the recent barge fire incident should have alerted everyone to the toxic impacts that such vessels have on our air, and water quality, when toxins escape, if/when fires are involved. We are ill-prepared to deal with such accidents. Healthwise, the risks we could suffer from these inevitable events are huge and widespread.
In short, many knowledgable people oppose lifting this barging moratorium, and to vote in favour of allowing it can cause dangerous consequences to our economy, environment, and health.