Salish Sea vital for business

Even a cursory examination of the real-world situation makes such a proposal seem unrealistic.

Re: Salish Sea nominated for heritage status, Feb. 9

A Nanaimo-area activist has submitted a proposal to the UN to have the Salish Sea designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Such a designation is intended to protect cultural or natural places of ‘outstanding universal value’ so that future generations can enjoy them as we do now. This of course mitigates against any further development of such places. Even a cursory examination of the real-world situation makes such a proposal seem unrealistic, but as with anything to do with the UN, the outcome is unpredictable.

The Salish Sea is really a series of inter-connected straits which form a major international shipping channel. The Port of Vancouver handles 20 per cent of Canada’s international trade. Its container port is forecast to continue to grow at its present rate of six per cent per year. Vancouver has a large coal-handling terminal. It is also the coastal terminus for the Trans-Mountain pipeline, an expansion of which was recently approved. When completed, this will triple oil tanker traffic in the straits. An LNG export terminal is to be built near Squamish and LNG tankers will eventually transit the straits.

The straits are a very busy and important shipping channel which will become increasingly used in the future. An attempt by an activist minority to impede this growth is not in Canada’s national interest. Unless we all wish to become poorer, we need to increase our exports from this important area.

John S. ButterworthNanaimo