Monday, April 24, 2023

Port of Vancouver gears up to build $3.5-billion container terminal To Service China

 Port of Vancouver gears up to build $3.5-billion container terminal To Service China

Container capacity would rise by nearly 50 per cent at Canada’s largest port upon completion of RBT2
RBT2 will require construction of an artificial island near Delta, B.C., located about 30 kilometres south of Vancouver.

The Port of Vancouver is gearing up to build a $3.5-billion container terminal that it believes will be an economic and engineering marvel, while critics warn of environmental harm.

Last week, the federal government approved the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s contentious plans for the Roberts Bank Terminal 2, or RBT2. Upon completion of RBT2, container capacity would rise by nearly 50 per cent at Canada’s largest port.

Port authority president Robin Silvester said the Canadian economy will prosper from the new terminal. “It’s critical to have capacity and have a competitive export gateway,” he said in an interview.

RBT2 will require construction of an artificial island near Delta, B.C., located about 30 kilometres south of Vancouver.

The port is also touting RBT2 as a crucial expansion of shipping-container capacity to meet an anticipated jump in imports of consumer goods from China, Japan, South Korea and other parts of Asia.

“It’s so important to have capacity in this gateway, to preserve affordability for Canadians for those goods that we depend on being brought to us from around the world,” Mr. Silvester said.

The project underwent a decade-long environmental review process led by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, before gaining last week’s approval from the federal government. The port, which started public consultations in 2011, is pleased to finally get the green light.

“It has been a long time coming, but we’re obviously delighted,” Mr. Silvester said.

The port must still obtain various permits from federal departments, including Fisheries and Oceans, as well as Environment and Climate Change Canada. The painstaking steps of preliminary work are expected to take about three years, including attracting a terminal operator, before construction even begins.

The port estimates 3,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created during more than six years of construction and then at least 800 full-time jobs at the new terminal once it’s up and running. Union leaders are opposed to RBT2, saying they’re worried about the magnitude of automation during operations.

Roger Emsley, executive director of the Against Port Expansion community group, said he is disappointed by the federal approval of plans for RBT2′s three-berth container terminal. RBT2 will trigger a decline in mudflat biofilms, a critical food source for migratory and other shorebirds, including western sandpipers, he said.

“The fight to save the Fraser estuary and Roberts Bank from environmental degradation is by no means over,” Mr. Emsley said in an e-mail.

The shipping industry deploys large vessels to carry containers, which are reusable steel boxes measured as 20-foot equivalent units, or TEUs. The cargo shipped in the containers include imported goods from Asia and exports of Canadian raw materials such as grain.

Critics say the Vancouver port’s RBT2 plans are too costly. They point out that the Port of Prince Rupert in northern British Columbia has its own vision to expand container capacity by two million TEUs a year by the early 2030s, more than doubling existing capacity at that port.

The first phase of RBT2 is designed to add 1.6 million TEUs a year by 2033, then 800,000 TEUs a year in a second phase to be finished by 2036. When RBT2 is fully completed, the additional capacity from the new terminal would represent a 34-per-cent increase compared with today’s combined capacity at the Port of Vancouver and the Port of Prince Rupert.

Environmental groups are slamming the federal government for giving the go-ahead to the project, including criticisms from the David Suzuki Foundation, Ecojustice, Georgia Strait Alliance, Wilderness Committee and Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

Misty MacDuffee, Raincoast’s wild salmon program director, said endangered southern resident killer whales should be protected, but RBT2 will be harmful to them. “It increases threats, worsens their feeding conditions and increases their likelihood of extinction,” she said in a statement.

During a news conference last Thursday, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson emphasized that the federal government’s project approval is subject to 370 legally binding conditions.

“Salmon, whales, western sandpipers, and the biofilm that sustains them – I have spent many years of my life fighting for more sustainable and healthy oceans,” Mr. Wilkinson said.

He said the port authority has reached impact benefit agreements with 26 Indigenous groups consenting to the project, including the Musqueam Indian Band and Tsawwassen First Nation.

One of the port authority’s tenants, GCT Global Container Terminals Inc., runs the existing site near Delta. GCT wants to expand its three-berth Deltaport terminal and opposes its landlord’s plans to build the artificial island that would be located near GCT’s site and Westshore Terminals Investment Corp.’s coal-export facility.

Under GCT’s rival Deltaport 4 plans to construct a fourth berth, the company is proposing to add two million TEUs a year to increase its annual capacity to 4.4 million TEUs by the early 2030s.

Marko Dekovic, GCT vice-president of public affairs, said RBT2′s plans to construct the artificial island are counterproductive. “RBT2 will be the world’s most expensive container terminal expansion project. It has no terminal operator in place, and it creates environmental impacts that Environment and Climate Change Canada concluded are unmitigable,” Mr. Dekovic said in an e-mail.

At the Port of Vancouver, GCT runs the Deltaport and Vanterm container terminals, while DP World PLC operates the Centerm container terminal and the multipurpose Fraser Surrey Docks.

The port authority reports to Transport Minister Omar Alghabra.

Earlier this year, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre claimed that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has been slow in handling the port file.

“Let’s make Vancouver one of the best ports on planet Earth. Right now, it’s poorly ranked,” Mr. Poilievre said.

He cited the Container Port Performance Index for 2021, compiled by the World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence. The administrative index placed Vancouver third-last in the rankings that factor in operating efficiency and turnaround times at 370 ports. Long Beach, Calif., placed second-last and Los Angeles was at the bottom.

Mr. Silvester said Vancouver’s 368th spot was a “snapshot in time” that reflected shipping congestion amid a surge in demand from consumers for imported goods during the COVID-19 pandemic. There were conditions in 2021 out of the port authority’s control such as clogged rail lines after extreme weather in British Columbia and continuing disruptions to the supply chain overseas, but RBT2 will play an important role to alleviate future bottlenecks, he said.

“This is a project that helps us move back up the rankings to where we should be,” Mr. Silvester said.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Chinese Operative Arrested By FBI For Opening ‘Secret Police Stations’ Attended Ritzy Dem Events

Chinese Operative Arrested By FBI For Opening ‘Secret Police Stations’ Attended Ritzy Dem Events

Last week, the FBI arrested a Chinese spy who was operating overseas police station on behalf of the CCP.

April 18, 2023
Here he is pictured with Chuck Schumer, Eric Adams, and other prominent New York Democrats at fundraising events.

A  Chinese Communist Party (CCP) operative arrested by the FBI on Monday was pictured meeting with several prominent New York Democrats at swanky dinners and campaign events, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation found.

Lu Jianwang, whom the FBI arrested Monday for conspiring to act as an agent of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), is pictured with New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and even attended an apparent fundraiser for New York Democratic Rep. Grace Meng, according to multiple Chinese-language news reports and photographic evidence. Lu allegedly operated an overseas police station on behalf of the Chinese government.

The FBI charged Lu with “obstructing justice by destroying evidence of [his] communications with a [Ministry of Public Security] official,” just months after the FBI raided the office of America Changle Association, the nonprofit at which Lu previously served as chairman, sometime in fall 2022. (RELATED: Dem Rep Listed As ‘Co-Chair’ Of Yet Another Nonprofit With Ties To Chinese Communist Party)

Multiple photos taken at events in New York City reveal that Lu Jianwang met with Meng, Adams and Schumer during events in 2022 and 2023.

The DCNF identified Lu Jianwang, who served as America Changle Association’s chairman between 2012 and 2018, by matching his photo found on an archived version of America Changle Association’s website with photos from events with Meng, Adams and Schumer.

On April 24, 2022, Lu took part in a fundraiser held in Flushing, New York, for Rep. Meng’s congressional campaign, according to photos posted on CareerEngine.US, a Chinese-language news website. Campaign finance records confirm that Meng’s campaign committee, Grace for New York, held an event at the Crown One Restaurant that day, and photos of the restaurant match the images on CareerEngine.US.

Lu Jianwang attended the April 2022 fundraiser, according to the report which featured an image of Meng and Lu standing side-by-side.

Additionally, Lu Jianshun, the current America Changle Association chairman, also attended the April 2022 fundraiser, according to the report and an included photo which depicts the non-profit’s chairman seated at a table with several men.

Before the FBI raid, America Changle Association allegedly served as an outpost for an overseas Chinese police station linked to an international Chinese police unit known as 110 Overseas, which is headquartered in China’s Fujian province, according to a report from Safeguard Defenders, a human rights group which first revealed the existence of Beijing’s global police network in September.

Lu Jianwang also met with New York Democratic Mayor Eric Adams on a number of occasions at events such as anniversary celebrations for America Changle Association, according to multiple Chinese-language news reports.

In fact, Lu Jianwang and Adams met as recently as March 18, 2023, at an event celebrating the 81st anniversary of the Fujian Hometown Association, according to US China Press. This meeting occurred several months after it was widely reported that the FBI had raided the American Changle Association, and the overseas police station closed down.

A group photo from the event reveals that Lu Jianshun also attended.

Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer also attended the March 2023 event, according to a report from

During the event — which was attended by Wu Xiaoming, a member of the Chinese Consulate — Lu Jianwang, along with two other individuals, were appointed co-chairs of the Fujian Hometown Association, according to the report.

Lu Jianshun personally donated $4,000 to Adams’ mayoral campaign under the adopted name “James Lu” between 2019 and 2021, public campaign finance records show.

To date, the DCNF has not found evidence of Lu Jianshun or Lu Jianwang attending events with prominent Republican lawmakers.

Meng and Schumer did not respond immediately to the DCNF’s request for comment, while Adams’ office declined to comment.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Trudeau Foundation Didn’t Return Chinese Donation as Previously Claimed: Report

Trudeau Foundation Didn’t Return Chinese Donation as Previously Claimed: Report

April 12, 2023

A day after the leadership of the Trudeau Foundation resigned citing the “political climate” surrounding a donation received from a Chinese regime insider, the news outlet La Presse reported that the money hadn’t been returned as previously claimed.

This caused an internal crisis among the foundation directors and is what led to their resignation, not the political climate, the French-language report said.

La Presse’s April 12 report is based on interviews with five unidentified individuals who resigned from the Trudeau Foundation the previous day.

The outlet says it also obtained an internal document indicating that the $200,000 donation from Chinese businessman and regime insider Zhang Bin in 2016 was never returned.

The Globe and Mail reported on Feb. 28 that according to a national security source, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service had uncovered a 2014 plan by Beijing to donate to the Trudeau Foundation through Zhang. The day after the report was published, the foundation issued a statement saying it would return the money.

“We cannot keep any donation that may have been sponsored by a foreign government and would not knowingly do so,” CEO and president Pascale Fournier said at the time.

It turns out the foundation could not return the donation, since the name on the cheque wasn’t the name of the real donor, reported La Presse.

The foundation couldn’t reimburse the real donor since his name did not appear in the organization’s accounting books, and as such the reimbursement would have been “illegal,” the internal document reportedly says.

This led board members not with the foundation at the time of the donation to request an independent investigation. They also asked that those who were board members at the time recuse themselves. They reportedly refused.

“Anyone who was on the finance committee or the audit committee at the time of the donation has a conflict of interest because they accepted cheques,” La Presse quotes one source as saying.

“Therefore they should not be part of an investigation of the matter. They should have recused themselves. And they refused.”

The source said an independent investigation would have determined who was the true donor and if there were strings attached to the donation.

“We lost confidence in the ability of the organization to deal with this file with transparency, integrity, and accountability,” said one source.

This is what led one source to qualify the foundation’s claim of a difficult political climate as the reason for the leadership’s resignation as a “bunch of lies.”

The Trudeau Foundation announced in an April 11 statement that Fournier and the board of the directors were resigning.

“The circumstances created by the politicization of the Foundation have made it impossible to continue with the status quo,” it said.

In a statement to The Epoch Times on April 12, the foundation said it will launch an independent review of “the donation with a potential connection to the Chinese government.” The review will be conducted by an accounting firm with no previous involvement with the foundation.

“As reported recently, the Foundation received two payments of $70,000. A reimbursement cheque was issued in the name of the donor which made those payments and to which CRA charitable receipts were issued,” the statement also said.

The foundation was established in 2001 to honour the memory of former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and received a $125 million endowment from the federal government in March 2002. It provides scholarships and mentorship to develop “future engaged leaders.”

The foundation says it is independent. The Minister of Innovation can appoint up to six of its 30 members, and two seats on the board of directors are also reserved for appointments by the minister. The organization’s 2021-2022 annual report shows one member and one director were ministerial appointees.

No Involvement: Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a succession member of the foundation along with his brother Alexandre Trudeau, but the prime minister’s status is inactive since he became involved in politics.

Trudeau was asked at a press conference on April 12 whether the foundation should cut all links with his family and even change its name given the current turmoil. He replied that he has “no involvement at all with a foundation that carries my father’s name.”

“I think it’s important that the foundation itself answers these questions and reflects on how it can continue doing the important work that it does,” he said.

The previous day, Trudeau said Conservative politicians were trying to score political points by “increasing polarization and partisanship in this country by launching completely unfounded and ungrounded attacks against charities or foundations.”

Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre swiftly called for an investigation into the foundation after news broke of its leadership resignation.

“We need to know who got rich; who got paid and who got privilege and power from Justin Trudeau as a result of funding to the Trudeau Foundation,” he said on Twitter on April 11.

Poilievre and other opposition leaders have called for a public inquiry on the issue of Chinese interference in the last two elections, after allegations such as those reported by the Globe began surfacing last November.

Trudeau has rejected calls for a public inquiry, and instead appointed former governor general David Johnston as special rapporteur to examine the situation and make recommendations, one of which could be to hold an inquiry.

Poilievre has questioned Johnston’s ability to review the matter impartially given that he is a family friend of Trudeau and was previously a member of the Trudeau Foundation.

“How will you investigate Beijing’s donation to the Trudeau Foundation when you were part of the Trudeau Foundation,” Poilievre asked Johnston in a letter addressed to him on April 12.

Johnston became a member of the Foundation in 2018 and resigned following his appointment as special rapporteur on March 15, the foundation previously told The Epoch Times.

Trudeau defended Johnston’s appointment again on April 12, saying he’s a “man of incredible integrity.”

Johnston’s office previously told The Epoch Times he is currently not commenting on matters related to his appointment.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Olivia Chow enters Toronto mayor’s race. Here are her top priorities

Olivia Chow enters Toronto mayor’s race. Here are her top priorities

Former city councillor and NDP MP ended months of speculation and launched her campaign because Toronto is no longer the ‘city of hope’ she grew up in.

Olivia Chow shook up the mayor’s race on Monday as the latest high-profile challenger on the left to join the campaign. The next 10 weeks could determine whether she emerges as the champion for Toronto’s progressives, or a spoiler who helped dash their hopes of recapturing city hall.

After weeks of speculation about whether she would sign up for the June 26 byelection, the former city councillor and New Democrat MP launched her bid at a rooftop restaurant in Chinatown.

“We urgently need to build a city that cares,” she said, pledging to work with residents to create a Toronto that is “safer, more affordable, (and) where everyone belongs.”

Chow’s strong name recognition ensured she immediately became one of the highest-profile challengers vying to replace John Tory, the former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader who occupied the mayor’s office for more than eight years.

The crowded field features a handful of well-known centrist and centre-right politicians, but until Chow’s entry it lacked a big name capable of serving as the standard-bearer for Toronto’s NDP-affiliated left.

That dynamic means Chow will likely compete for the support of left-leaning residents with the likes of Coun. Josh Matlow (Ward 12, Toronto—St. Paul’s), the self-described “pragmatic progressive” who has been polling strongly in the early stages.

Minutes into her campaign, Chow faced questions about whether her candidacy risked splitting the left-wing vote and paving a path to victory for a more conservative contender.

Among the high-profile candidates already registered are former police chief Mark Saunders, who previously ran provincially for the Ontario PCs, and Coun. Brad Bradford (Ward 19, Beaches—East York), who has prominent Conservative strategists on his team. Scarborough-Guildwood Liberal MPP Mitzie Hunter as well as former Davenport councillor Ana Bailão, who has Liberal ties and the support of several major labour unions, are also considered prominent challengers.




Chow insisted she wasn’t worried about competing with fellow progressives, and was instead focused on helping residents who have no money left for groceries after they pay rent, or who are turned away from overflowing homeless shelters.

“I’m not worried about splitting votes ... I’m worried about them,” she said.

Matlow wouldn’t speculate about how Chow entering the election could affect his support, saying that’s a job for pundits.

“We haven’t had a very competitive mayor’s race in many years. So I think it’s very healthy that so many people want to run for mayor, and I hope that this election is a genuine contest of visions and ideas to improve our city,” he said in an interview.

At her launch event, Chow recounted that when she and her family emigrated from Hong Kong in the 1970s, Toronto was a “city of hope” where her mother was able to support the family with her single income from working as a maid in a hotel.

Now, home ownership is out of reach for many residents, and households spend more than a decade stuck on the waiting list for subsidized housing.

“We have to make a city that is more affordable,” said Chow.

She asserted that residents feel “stuck,” whether it be sitting in traffic, struggling to find their kids spots in child care and recreation programs, or waiting on hold when they call 911.

Chow promised to release a full platform in due course, but reiterated her opposition to plans for a “mega-luxury spa” at Ontario Place, and vowed not to use the city’s new strong-mayor powers to overrule council. She wouldn’t say whether she would raise taxes, but called on the provincial and federal governments to do more to support the city financially.

Starting in 1992, Chow served 14 years on council, and she served as MP for Trinity-Spadina between 2006 and 2014.

But she was unsuccessful in the two most recent elections she contested in Toronto. She entered the 2014 mayor’s race as the favourite before finishing a disappointing third behind Tory and Doug Ford. The following year, she was defeated in the federal election in Spadina—Fort York as the Liberals swept the city.

In 2016, Chow, who is the widow of former federal NDP leader Jack Layton, founded the Institute for Change Leaders, which trains activists in political organizing. She said wrapping up projects there delayed her entry to the mayor’s race. Nominations opened April 3.

In an interview Sunday ahead of her announcement, Chow said she was determined to learn from the mistakes of her previous mayoral campaign, when self-consciousness about speaking in English, her second language, led her to rely heavily on written speeches instead of spontaneous remarks. She pledged to present voters with a more authentic version of herself in this campaign.

“I will do better this time,” she vowed.

Michal Hay, executive director of left-leaning think tank Progress Toronto, will be Chow’s campaign director, while Ira Dubinsky, who did communications for Layton while he was leader of the federal New Democrats, is serving as an adviser. Former Ontario NDP media relations officer Shirven Rezvany is also on her team.

As of Monday, 48 candidates had registered for the byelection, which was triggered after Tory resigned in February over an inappropriate relationship with a member of his staff. They include sitting councillor Anthony Perruzza (Ward 7, Humber River—Black Creek), former council members Rob Davis and Giorgio Mammoliti, former Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes, and policy analyst Chloe Brown.

Gil Penalosa, an independent progressive who placed a distant second to Tory last October, has yet to register.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

China Entrepreneur Club delegation visits Canada

China Entrepreneur Club delegation visits Canada


On August 30th, the first day of Prime Minister Trudeau's official visit to China, he participated in the China Entrepreneur Club Forum in Beijing. Led by Chairman Jack Ma, he interacted with nearly a hundred Chinese entrepreneurs.

At the invitation of Prime Minister Trudeau, shortly after the exchange of visits between the two prime ministers, the China Entrepreneur Club international delegation returned, led by Ma Weihua, Niu Gensheng, Wang Ruoxiong, Hu Baosen, Wang Chaoyong, Xu Jinghong, Xia Hua, Jiang Xipei, Liu Jun, Ai Xin, Cheng Hong and other business leaders from various industries organized a delegation to visit Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver from October 16 to 23. The focus is to investigate Canada's policy environment, industrial opportunities in economic transformation, talent and technology competitiveness, and to make important visits and exchanges in industries such as finance, technology, and cultural consumption.

On October 18, Prime Minister Trudeau met with the delegation at the famous Wilson House, Meech Lake and held a roundtable meeting.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna and Innovation, Technology and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains attended the meeting.

Trudeau said: "China has made a huge contribution to the global economy. China is an exporter and a considerable manufacturing country. Consumers all over the world need Chinese products. The relationship between the world and China has undergone earth-shaking changes. Changes, I hope that while China is undergoing tremendous changes, we can better communicate with Canada. We can explore more and greater opportunities between our two countries. We are cooperative partners, and we can produce various collaborative relationships , we are facing a new era.”

 Ma Weihua delivered a speech: The two prime ministers attached great importance to it and the signing of many cooperation agreements between the two governments requires entrepreneurs from the two countries to complete. The business cooperation between the two countries should first be the cooperation of entrepreneurs, and the premise of cooperation is mutual trust and understanding, and consensus building. The Chinese Entrepreneur Club came to Canada to make friends, establish mutual trust and seek cooperation. It is hoped that a new era of China-Canada relations will be ushered in in the future. " 

Shortly after the meeting , Prime Minister Trudeau posted a message on his Twitter account and Sina Weibo account : Welcome the representatives of the Chinese Entrepreneur Club to Canada , and create more opportunities for the middle class of the two countries !

Ma Weihua said in an interview with China News Agency the next day: Canada's economy needs innovation and transformation, China is undergoing transformation and upgrading, and the expansion of cooperation between Chinese and Canadian companies is a win-win move. China has markets and capital, Canada has technology and resources, and the economies of the two countries are highly complementary.

Ma Weihua said that China has production capacity and capital, and Canada has complete sets of equipment. The cooperation between China and Canada to develop the third-party market is a huge space for future cooperation between the two countries. .

 Introduction to China Entrepreneur Club (CEC)

 It is an influential organization of business leaders in China, founded in 2006 by 31 Chinese business leaders, economists and diplomats. As a non-governmental non-profit organization, it promotes business righteousness, promotes the socialization of entrepreneurship, and promotes sustainable economic and social development as its institutional mission.

 CEC directors are representatives of China's market economy and the first batch of entrepreneurs in China's reform and opening up. They have unique entrepreneurial experience and management ideas; respect and follow market laws to achieve business success, carry entrepreneurial spirit and assume social responsibility. The companies they lead are leaders in various industries. In 2015, the total annual operating income created by the 50 governing enterprises exceeded RMB 3 trillion, making them an important part of China's national economy.