Here in New Westminster, the Fraser River lies close to our homes and our hearts. I’ve spent many sunny days at the Quay, watching the bustle of people that play in the Pier Park and flow in and out of the River Market. I also enjoy running in the trails near my house that follow the Brunette River, which flows into the Fraser.
The Fraser is home to a rich diversity of species, and is known as the greatest salmon river in the world. We rely on it to maintain a healthy, sustainable way of life.
Yet the well-being of our community is under threat as Fraser Surrey Docks has been issued a permit allowing the expansion of its Direct Transfer Coal Facility, which would allow 8 million tons of coal to be shipped on the Fraser River each year. With it, it has the potential to bring thousands of pounds of toxic coal dust to the air and waters of this region.
Despite environmental and health concerns raised by the Fraser Health Authority, the New Westminster City Council, and various local citizens, the Port of Metro Vancouver has given the green light to this facility, which will ship US coal to China through BC waters.
As youth who will be inheriting this planet and the infrastructure that comes with it, we cannot stand for the expansion of this project at the detriment of our environment and our health. What’s more, our generation will deal with the impacts of climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels, including coal.
That’s why we’re standing up for our future. On April 8th, youth from New Westminster will be visiting our MLA’s office to ask that she does everything in her power to stop this expansion from going through. We’re taking part in a day of action, which will see hundreds of young people across the province asking elected officials to do the same.
When I have kids, I want them to be able to play on the banks of the river like I did. I want to enjoy clean air, clean water, and a stable climate. I hope you’ll join me in asking adults to Defend Our Future.