Cascades Casino Delta To Plant 500 Trees

By Ben Hamill - June 10 2020

Cascades Casino Delta To Plant 500 Trees

Gateway Casinos & Entertainment’s Cascades Casino Delta will, once complete, become home to more than 500 trees – of which at least 225 trees will be new trees. But in order for this to happen, and certainly in order for the construction process to be completed, at least 45 existing trees currently growing on and around the construction site, will have to be removed.

The decision to remove some of the trees currently present on-site was reportedly made in close consultation with a specialist arborist. The trees expert has according to Gateway made it clear that the operator’s initial plans, which involved the affected trees remaining in current place, would essentially pose a safety threat to the casino’s future visitors. The trees identified as necessitating removal include Lombardy Poplar trees, Scots Pine and Weeping Willows, the majority of which are according to the arborist, suffering from a condition referred to as structural root decay”. Some others are in a generally poor condition, prompting their removal too.

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Counsellor Questions Reports

But despite Gateway having since right from the start conducted all of the decision-making processes in a very public and transparent manner, a number of concerns as well as outright opposing opinions were put to table during a recent Delta Council meeting. Delta Councillor Jeannie Kanakos pointed out that the removal of the trees identified for uprooting was never part of the original proposal by the operator at the time of Council’s approval having been granted in favour of the new development.

Kanakos, even despite the involvement of not only the specialist arborist, but also that of BC Plant Health Care Inc., appeared convinced that the operator was intent on bulldozing full steam ahead in the pursuit of profits and without as much as a thought spared for the natural environment, i.e. the trees present on-site. Kanakos even went as far as having questioned the validity of the reports issued by the mentioned arborists, drawing into question the integrity of everyone involved in the decisions made about the trees.

A Promise Of  Employment

BC Plant Health Care Inc., after having been requested to provide a second opinion regarding the current and suggested future states of the trees, recommended that even more trees; as many as 21 more; required removal. Gateway has not yet released feedback regarding BC Plant Health’s alternative, more extreme, recommendation.

Gateway’s new Cascades Casino Delta has been earmarked for completion by the end of next year. The CA$70 million-development is expected to create hundreds of new jobs in the Delta area.

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