“Taxpayers for a Responsible Public Port” is a coalition of Vancouver Port District taxpayers who believe the current attitude of secrecy at the Port of Vancouver is unacceptable. The Port of Vancouver is a public port, and the citizens of Vancouver deserve a voice in what types of businesses are brought in through a transparent process of public input.
While the Port is supposed to be an economic engine for good, the Commissioners have gambled our economic and environmental future on ill advised “commodity deals.” These deals were negotiated in secret with a foreign potash company and a big oil partnership and lets distant billionaires and State bureaucrats in Olympia decide our future.
Compounding this mismanagement, the Port continues to collect a “Port tax” which generates a 10 million annual surplus of funds. These tax dollars should be “rebated” to us annually or the tax eliminated entirely.
At the same time, the Port continues to pursue it's over budgeted $275 million West Vancouver rail extension project. Where will the Port find these funds?
The Port is also out of alignment with our long standing community vision of a vibrant, economically and environmentally sound, clean energy based community. They do not listen well. The Vancouver City Council and key legislators support an economically strong Port but oppose the Port’s oil terminal decision. They join grass roots opposition led by neighborhood associations, small businesses, labor, health, ecumenical, safety and environmental groups.
Some of the elected Port Commissioners have become insular and secretive. They display an intolerant attitude to taxpayers- the voting public- the true owners of the Port. When publicly called to account for their actions, the Commissioners in question claim no requirement to respond. Requests to reconsider their oil terminal decision, or continue dialog by holding a public forum, have been rejected.
The bottom line is that these Vancouver Port Commissioners are failing in their responsibility to pursue and protect the public interest. Instead of using the Port’s commercial success as a basis for being a better neighbor, a better partner, a better citizen, the Port has chosen to focus its entire attention toward internal Port enhancement. The Port persists in undercutting our community’s vision and casting its lot with multi-national corporations that care nothing about our community or the harmony we strive for.