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Letter: 'Seaspan takes our responsibility as a good neighbour seriously'

'We look to the community to share their thoughts with us in this next phase of engagement' for the proposed Vancouver dry-dock expansion project, Seaspan's CEO says.
Seaspan Drydock Expansion PM 2 web
Seaspan's Vancouver Drydock is pictured in July 5, 2021. The company is seeking an expansion of its water lease to add additional dry docks.

Dear Editor:

Re: Editorial: Seaspan should listen to and address dry dock worries

Re: City of North Van chides Seaspan for silence on dry dock plans

As Seaspan embarks on several weeks of public engagement as part of the Port Authority’s process for Vancouver Drydock’s water lot project, we want to respond to your most recent editorial and related news article about our proposal. 

Our dry-dock facility at the foot of St. Georges Avenue is an important part of the West Coast marine industry, servicing the vessels we all rely on for transportation, safety and movement of goods. Our proposal would see an extension to our water lot, and the addition of two new smaller floating dry docks and a work pontoon to our existing dry-dock operations. The expansion will result in approximately 100 new jobs in North Vancouver on top of the 150 people already working at Vancouver Drydock and as part of the larger team of 2,800 people across all three of our shipyards.

We are proud to be a part of the vibrant and diverse Shipyards District – a truly special place with a mix of new uses and industrial operations. Seaspan takes our responsibility as a good neighbour seriously. To us, that means listening to the community and making changes to our proposed project, where feasible. 

As part of the [Vancouver Fraser] Port Authority’s process, in addition to the public engagement activities in 2021 where we heard from hundreds of individuals, we recently held a mitigation workshop with strata residents. Based on the feedback we heard last year, we completed additional technical assessments, added new mitigations into our project scope and made changes to our existing operations. We have adjusted lighting, noise, air quality, fire safety, community collaboration and communication. We also looked at how we may be able to site additional dry docks to the east and have worked to explain why that isn’t feasible. We have carefully considered our needs and feel our proposal is a reflection of sustainable growth for our business that makes the best use of our North Vancouver sites and is in consideration of the feedback we received from the community.

As we look to the community to share their thoughts with us in this next phase of engagement, I can assure you that Seaspan is committed to building and sustaining effective relationships with the North Shore community. I believe the feedback, questions, concerns and comments have helped us develop a better project and will ensure that Seaspan can continue to play an important role in North Vancouver’s long-term sustainability and success.

Mark Lamarre
CEO,  Seaspan Shipyards

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