“No secrecy, no business.” ~Toba Beta

Fraser Surrey Docks believes in expansion

Surrey Docks (FSD) has listened carefully to community concerns and has enhanced an already safe project by eliminating the stockpiling of coal, re-spraying the coal on the trains before they cross the border into Canada, and adding a suppression and binding agent to the coal on the barges before leaving FSD to Texada Island.

Since the inception of this project in June 2012, FSD has worked with leading experts to ensure the safety and reliability of our project and to assess any potential impacts on our communities and the environment.

At the request of Port Metro Vancouver, FSD submitted this vast body of work in August – all the studies and assessments that have already been carried out, all of the feedback received to date, and more recent analysis with respect to the enhancements – for review by an independent third party, SNC-Lavalin, a firm with the technical and engineering expertise to review our studies and test our assumptions around health and the environment.

SNC-Lavalin has been a key partner in developing B.C.’s infrastructure for decades, from Canada Line and Evergreen line construction to development of BC Hydro power facilities to airport development and many other projects essential to B.C.’s economy.

We remain convinced that our project is both safe and reliable and will create more well-paying jobs in our community.

We also remain committed to working hard to earn the trust of our neighbours.

Jeff Scott

President and CEO

Fraser Surrey Docks

Source: http://www.vancouversun.com/Fraser+Surrey+Docks+believes+expansion/8986092/story.html

After reading the latest missive from Mr. Scott, I knew it was time to sit down and write a little blog post about Fraser Surrey Docks and the entire coal expansion business going down in B.C. now.

Several years ago I began looking into the mainly offshore companies that the BC Liberals relied on with increasing frequency to either finance, advise or build the provinces P3 projects.

SNC Lavalin, Kiewit and of course Macquarie are my personal favourites, each of them having cultivated longstanding and deep roots in both public and private infrastructure.

It was back in February of 2011 that I penned a post about the relationship between Macquarie and the Liberal government titled:

“The incestuous relationship between government and big business thrives in the dark.” ~Jack Anderson

It’s a must read, and more relevant now than ever. From that post:

“By March of 2007, Macquarie Infrastructure Partners had closed on the purchase of 100% of Fraser Surrey Docks, a strategic move on their part to add to the Macquarie groups growing holdings and investment in ports worldwide. Among Macquarie  port and shipping holdings?

Halterm in Halifax, Canada, DCT Gdansk in Poland, Changshu Xinghua Port in China, and a joint venture with Hanjin Shipping with operations in Japan, Taiwan and the United States.


As part of the Gateway project, the SFPR will be a vital link for Macquarie as owner of the Fraser Surrey Docks, as well as shipping lines and port terminals in China, and Japan, both targets in the Asia-Pacific market Kevin Falcon still speaks so fondly of.

To be sure, it might be argued that Macquarie stands to profit most from the SFPR,maybe even more than Deltaport, and more than the stealthy developers who have gobbled up land left,right and centre along the route –  BC Rail Properties among them.

Making money on both ends and during shipping is a profitable venture not often imagined by any corporation…”

..and it is not unreasonable to  point out that via the coal transfer and expansion proposal, Macquarie stands to make ample profit on several different angles. This slide from a confidential Macquarie presentation in March,( macquarieassets pdf format) shows exactly how extensive those infrastructure and asset holdings are, including the shipping and port holdings overseas. Click on the image to see more detail.


It’s interesting to note that even two years after my original post, I couldn’t locate a reference or mention of Macquarie anywhere on the Fraser Surrey Docks site. However it is listed on the lobbyist registration as the parent company :

















Now, let’s get to the heart of something really rather appalling. Fraser Surrey Docks CEO Jeff Scott not only refers to the ‘independent review’ by SNC-Lavalin, he then goes into some sort of cheerleading routine on their involvement in BC projects and infrastructure.

First of all, SNC- Lavalin and Macquarie have worked together on mega-projects not only in BC, but all over the world. I could get into all the reasons why just the perception of a conflict exists – and should be avoided if Fraser Surrey Docks truly wanted an independent review – but Grant Rice, a Surrey city council candidate in the last municipal election, pointed out this fact in several letters to the editor published recently:

“Macquarie, the owner of Fraser Surrey Docks, and SNC Lavalin are close business associates. SNC acquired the remaining stake in Alberta power transmission company Altalink in September 2011 from one of Macquarie’s many subsidiaries.

SNC is deeply involved in the coal business. According to SNC’s website, they “have worked on coal projects around the world, including the ongoing expansion of one of the largest mining operations in the world. A strong and capable worldwide team of project management and engineering professionals support our clients in the delivery of coal mining projects from the ROM pad to the port, including all mine area related infrastructure and rail.”

Considering BNSF railway has been diligently replacing all the ties on the entire length of their Canadian tracks, and performing maintenance on the rest of its infrastructure, it would seem to me to indicate they expect a lot more traffic on their lines.

Considering the deep sea port on Texada is also applying for an expansion to handle increased coal traffic… and…considering that 18 new coal mine applications popped up on central Vancouver Island while the province was concerned with the last provincial election… one could not only imagine coal barges coming from Fraser Surrey Docks to Texada… but also, potentially from the mid-north island area if any of those applications are ultimately approved.

It looks like BC is about to become an even larger coal export hub, regardless of public objection. And of course, Fraser Surrey Docks is doing the good corporate citizen thing like sponsoring the Surrey International Music Marathon for some feel good PR…

One more item of note to think about.

In years of research and debate, twinning the Massey Tunnel has most often been regarded the best solution for dealing with traffic on both sides of the tunnel.

Suddenly, Christy Clark announces a bridge. A massive bridge we really and truly have no money to pay for and quite frankly is leaving many transportation planners scratching their heads. Fraser Surrey Docks was quick to applaud the decision:

“The construction of a new bridge will greatly improve the overall transportation flow of the region,” said Jeff Scott, president and CEO of Fraser Surrey Docks. “It will also enable economic opportunities for Fraser Surrey Docks and other nearby business operators.” Replacement of the tunnel with a bridge will allow for further dredging of the Fraser River to accommodate larger vessels. Dredging of the river has been taking place since the late 1890s and additional dredging would better accommodate today’s modern vessels, according to Surrey Fraser Docks. “

In addition to coal expansion, Fraser Surrey Docks wants to increase activity at their facility overall – this presentation given to the city of Delta in the spring details all of it, http://www.delta.ca/assets/Environment/PDF/FSD_CouncilPresentation_021813.pdf – and quite frankly the tunnel is a big barrier to that expansion.

It’s been said in certain business circles,that what Macquarie wants, Macquarie gets. And as long as the BC Liberals govern the province, that’s pretty much guaranteed.



27 thoughts on ““No secrecy, no business.” ~Toba Beta

  1. As soon as I saw SNC Lavalin’s name listed …….I smiled.
    SNC that “paragon of virtue” that has been BANNED from all bidding on international infrastructure projects financed by the World Bank due to their rampant and ongoing corrupting of (foriegn:)) govt officials.

    Have you noticed that SNC is currently wrapping is name in a wholly owned subsiduary anywhere it can?

    I have also been informed from friends back east that the federal govt is quietly allowing federal govt contracts with SNC to expire. The CBC, Canada Post, the Canadian Military are/were all customers of SNC’s facility management division. How much longer that will remain true is anyone’s guess. Hopefully not much longer.
    Lets us also remember that SNC Lavalin “won” huge construction contracts in such wonderful “democracies” as “Lybia” where they were building a new prison. Venezuala where they were building a “utopian city” for the now deceased lunatic Hugo Chavez. Indonesia was where the bribery charges surfaced and …….stuck.
    (personally I think SNC’s downfall was having ing one of their employess arrested in Mexico with Khaddafi’ s son , fake Canadian passports, gold bullion, and millions in cash trying to sneak into Canada,
    Obviously the U.S. had had enough of their bullshit.
    Their corporate head offices in Montreal offices were raided by the US authorities and the RCMP several days later
    But dont worry shareholders, SNC Lavalin also manages all BMO branches, CIBC branches, Standard Life Assurance, SKYTRAIN, etc.etc.etc.

    Scum always rises to the top.


    1. Your friends aren’t completely accurate http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/08/13/snclavalin_subsidiary_wins_government_contract_despite_world_bank_ban.html

      SNC Lavalin just mentioned that 32 people made amnesty requests :http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/thirty-two-seek-amnesty-under-snc-lavalin-program/article14599233/

      Macquarie follows the a similar model of buying out companies and controlling interests, and thereby flies under the radar. Their roots in BC are just as deep and insidious as SNC-Lavalins.

      Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out where those 32 employees of SNC Lavalin were based out of? 😉


      1. I’d very much like to know that answer Laila, if by chance you happen across that information please do share 🙂

        From the article;
        “SNC negotiated an agreement with the bank that bars the company from bidding on projects for 10 years after allegations that two former SNC employees were part of a scheme to bribe government officials in Bangladesh in relation to construction of a bridge.
        The company has seen several top executives – including the chief executive officer – leave over the past two years.”
        How is it these “top executives” have “left” and are not in prison? Do they get their pensions? Did they get rehired by “friends” in the same field?

        Curious. It’s quite obvious the corruption is almost complete.. I mean.. you get “banned by world banks (that’s pretty bad) but then you: “negotiated an agreement with the bank that bars the company on bidding for 10 years…” so… what actual “punishment” was meted out.. if any?


        1. Working on it and I agree totally. It’s incredibly interesting how all of these issues faced by SNC are so easily laughed off by those in the BC government, who is more than happy to continue giving contracts to the company whose former CEO Gwyn Morgan was a personal transition advisor to Premier Christy Clark….

          Yes, nothing to see here folks, move along 😉


    1. I think, if indeed a bridge is built, Macquarie will likely end up either assisting in the financing of the bridge or assisting the MOT via advisory services… not unlike the Port Mann Bridge.


  2. This is not just about coal export from the FSD and huge container ships using the Fraser Rivet. It is also about the new Kinder Morgan pipeline and oil tankers. This sudden and hurried frenzy to have the tunnel removed is all about the realization that oil tankers will not be going through Burrsrd Inlet. The push back has become too strong and the optics worldwide terrible. I learned quite a while ago from a very reliable source, that Kinder Morgan had reached an agreement with the Federal, Provincial and quite possibly Delta Mayor Jackson to prepare the FSD as the new recipient of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. That’s why all of a sudden there was a huge hurry to replace the tunnel after the Province had previously said the tunnel was good for another 50 years and there was no money for replacement. Even more interesting is that Delta Mayor Jackson and CAO George Harvie recently hopped aboard a flight to Norway to find out about pipelines and ports. Why would they do that and who paid for the jaunt? According to Delta, it was just to gather knowledge, not that there is any pipeline or oil tankers planned for Delta. Really, well then I’ve got a bridge I can sell ya. Oh wait, Christy Clark is already buying one, with your money.

    Then of course there is the Terminal 2 expansion to be done as well. Anyone who thinks that the upcoming “public consultation” starting now is anything more than a PR activity is naive. Terminal 2 is a done deal and farmland is continuing to be optioned for future industrial activity. The Port calls this for logistics, which is just a fancy word for acres of single story warehouses built to store widgets and ironically, food from agricultural products around the world.

    Its time for the Province and Delta to call a spade a spade. This bridge is being built for the expansion of Deltaport and to allow huge oil tankers access to the Fraser River so they can move the oil down the River. Its doubtful the project will be stopped but instead of making the taxpayer foot the bill, get the Port and Kinder Morgan to pay for it. Its time the public was told the truth. I know that’s a tough thing for the Liberals to do but just think how refreshing it would be.

    Keep up the good work Laila and keep holding their feet to the fire.


    1. Thank you for this great insight Debbie. I hadn’t connected the dots to the banning of oil tankers in Burrard inlet by the City of Vancouver. Of course Kinder Morgan will reroute to the Fraser River. Now it all makes sense. You really have to wonder who is being paid what in brown paper bags and offshore accounts to make this all happen don’t you?


    2. Absolutely Debbie and you too. This is great info to share here and important for people to get the full picture, which politicians never seem to do.

      Bits and bytes is what they give us. And by simply not telling us anything, they can say they didn’t lie. Gag me.


    1. Ahh… the Falcons Follies series, which can be read on my Best Of page… .even though Falcon is out of the legislature his work is evident all over Delta, Surrey and surrounding areas.


      Still incredibly relevant to what is continuing to occur on the south side of the Fraser.


  3. Whoa… head is spinning, amazed more people don’t see this and SO GRATEFUL that you publish it! – BS in BC and also Federally is making me wild!! Those who see it and don’t speak, MUST be getting benefits or payoffs – HUGE bucks involved


  4. Hi This is the gist of my presentation tomorrow to the Select Committee on finance. Hope all is well with you and keep digging up the truth. Gary Young 250-396-4403



  5. Can’t get those damn barges over the tunnel so let’s just build a bridge. Did you know that at one point there was a discussion about scuttling the tunnel by removing the boulders that are holding it down. These guys will do anything for a buck.


    1. Yes, the only reason a bridge is the plan is to facilitate traffic up the fraser. I haven’t heard anything about removing boulders – source?


  6. And it should be of no surprise to anyone, anywhere, that this was approved today. It opens the door for tons of activity beyond US thermal coal transfer to Texada. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/surrey-fraser-coal-terminal-approved-by-port-metro-vancouver-1.2743022

    Say hello to the new Massey Bridge,coming soon.

    And sadly, the BCNDP had their say on this matter when they stood with the BC Liberals in the legislature, and voted overwhelmingly against the only thing that may have stopped it… that was the amendment put forth by Andrew Weaver that would have prevented US thermal coal from being exported via BC as it has been refused in California, Washington and Oregon. Here is the vote on that motion. http://www.leg.bc.ca/hansard/40th2nd/20140217pm-Hansard-v5n6.htm#1333


  7. SNC Lavalin + Gywn Morgan + BC Liberal Party = The fix is in. And with Macquarie, they have a very bad reputation and best to avoid at all costs. They are virtually a swear word in Australia.
    To sum up in three words; we are screwed!


    1. Indeed. I can’t possibly add anymore except Macquarie, SNC Lavalin and Kiewit have made more… and continue to do so… more money courtesy of the BC government than any other companies I know. Not just via their main companies but by the many many subsidiaries.


  8. The new Bridge to replace the Massey tunnel is to allow Panama max oil tankers to come up river to Surrey Docks. Barges of coal have no draft problems and the Massey tunnel poses no problem. But what the government is not talking about, for fear of a major First nations uprising is that the entire river must be dredged to a far deeper depth that it is presently and that will be very costly, both to achieve and to maintain. Then there are concerns about the fish, the salmon and sturgeon. These costs will be born by the taxpayer and what maybe jobs, jobs, jobs, means more school closures, more wheelchair taxes and hospital bed closures and much higher gas taxes to pay for photo-op’s folly.

    Then, what about the Delta Superport, wasn’t that built so big bulk carriers no trundle up the Fraser to load and unload? I thought so. What I see is another secret Liberal deal, like BC Rail or the HST, where friends of the government wins and the taxpayer loses.


  9. There are no boulders holding down the Massey tunnel, rather it is tens of thousands of tons of concrete, that keeps it from popping to the surface.


  10. Thanks Laila for revisiting this issue. What PMV, the Feds and the Province are willfully ignoring is that coal powered electricity is vanishing. China has significantly reduced its use of coal and intends to reduce its use even more. Why?

    Because the pollution caused by their use has got to the point of poisoning not just workers in China but also the elite. As in all things where governments and the rich in a society are finally also negatively affected, a solution to reducing this pollution will be found.

    All over the world, the coal industry is getting smaller and sources of cleaner energy will be developed. Even the US military is looking at alternative energy solutions that will reduce the need for oil and gas supply transportation to troops. Portable wind and solar energy will not require thousands of supply trucks to keep the military moving.

    Yet, BC and the Feds are giving the go ahead to sink billions of dollars into a coal industry that the US west coast is refusing to move. Coal that comes from other American States.

    This means that our governments are building huge white elephants that will likely profit companies like SNC Lavelin. Hmmmmm. They wouldn’t really be willing to bankrupt BC just to make a profit off the building of an infrastructure that will be as dead as the horse and carriage businesses of yesterday would they?

    I’ll let their past business practices answer that question.


  11. […] I’ve been writing about the Surrey Fraser Docks coal facility project since 2013, when I first traced the business and big money connections behind it-even with coal prices in a slump, someone is going to make a lot of money and it isn’t the province of BC. https://lailayuile.com/2013/10/03/no-secrecy-no-business-toba-beta/   […]


Comments are closed.