I Have Faith in the System on Woodfibre LNG: Sturdy

strudy-MAIN

Jordan Sturdy

 Jordan Sturdy was elected as the MLA for the West Vancouver-Sea to Sky Region in May last year. The former Mayor of Pemberton is currently the parliamentary secretary to the Minster of Transportation and a member of the Environment and Land use committee.  Sturdy talked about his experience as an MLA with Gagandeep Ghuman.

Canadian_Tire-600x140-May2014(1)

How has this one year been for you?  

Well, it’s been a year of learning and a year of understanding at different levels.  I was well-prepared for the job frankly because I think I came from Pemberton, from a community that has connections to the land and resource sector and I also served on the SLRD.

“I’m a pragmatist and I spoke of this project as an opportunity for Squamish” Jordan Sturdy

What was the learning experience you talk about?

Well, I suppose how different the municipal system is from the provincial system. At the municipal level, the government is generally consensus based, but at a provincial level, it’s an adversarial system. There is a built in opposition whose role is to oppose. It was a stark contrast and was more of a surprise and it was my naiveté frankly.

What is your typical day like?

The typical day depends on whether we are sitting in the legislature, so it can start as early as 7:30 am in the morning. We can have a meeting or outreach. Last week, we had an orientation meeting for government caucus with ministers, deputy ministers. We discuss what some of the specific issues in each person’s riding are and how we are dealing with health, resource sharing, etc. Right now we are doing budget estimates, so each minister comes to the budget estimates with his staff and then the opposition critics will question the minister. We will have a caucus meeting at night and events and functions to attend.

Delving straight into the LNG debate, do you share the concerns that many people have?

I’m a pragmatist and I spoke of this project as an opportunity for Squamish and for the province. It’s not a done deal…but it’s an opportunity. The one here is a brownfield site, has a deep water port, and has access to hydro power. Within the municipality, there aren’t a lot of sites like this so there is a real opportunity for direct benefit for taxation.

What about the environmental issues?

Well, there are going to be submissions to EAO likely this fall and at that point we will know the specific of what the proposal is. There is a tremendous amount of rumour, how the compression will be, how the facility will look like, will it float or will it be terrestrial and all these are significant issues, but I have faith in the system 

And I also have to live with the projects that I support or don’t support, and I am waiting to see what kind of application comes forward. We have to look at the balance and the cost and the benefit of the operation. If the outcome is that it will drive away marine life, then obviously I don’t support it and it’s not acceptable.

The Squamish LNG project may generate 100 jobs and tax benefits, but i don’t think it will be a game changer…yet it’s part of a spectrum of economic development in the province.

What do you do in the position of parliamentary secretary to the Minster of Transportation?

It entails supporting the minister. In the fall, we were in consultations with BC ferries and the TransLink referendum has taken up fair bit of time. In the summer, there will be likely work on transportation strategy for Vancouver Island.

You are also a member of the environment and land use committee, what is your role there?

It’s an elect cabinet committee and has virtually everything that involves air, land or water. It’s a committee more of a provincial nature, there are the Ministers of Environment, Forest, Aboriginal Relations, and four private members. We deal with pretty much anything that comes forward to cabinet’s consideration.

What are some of the other issues?

Well, there are so many issues in Sea to Sky Region. LNG is a big topic, the forest sector and its viability in Sea to Sky, Tourism and the part it plays in our economic future. There are a whole variety of other project…there is no shortage of major activity here in Sea to Sky.

Comments

  1. G. Elijah Dann says:

    Nice interview. Reminds me of a fireside chat from SCTV. Instead of having a pleasant discussion however, I was expecting to hear specific questions concerning the serious objections scientists, academics, First Nations, local groups and citizens have raised against everything from fracking, contamination of water, the leaking methane from pipelines, dangers surrounding LNG facilities including their emissions. All in the context of new warnings, the world over, concerning the devastating effects climate change is having on the environment and millions of lives.

    There are a number of serious stories connected to the LNG facility proposal and, as a journalist, given the potential problems this LNG facility presents to the well being of Squamish residents, its business, and tourists, there’s a fiduciary responsibility to dig into them more seriously. Just as all of these questions and objections have been raised in newspapers throughout the country, as one of Squamish’s newspapers, I hope these concerns will also have coverage here over the next few weeks.

    • Sorry Elijah, I didn’t hit MLA Sturdy in the nose as you may have liked, but the intent of the interview was to talk to him about his one year as a MLA. I also wanted to bring his views about Squamish LNG on record.
      As for questions and concerns, they have been raised several times by citizens in the Squamish Reporter pages, both online and in print. You are more than welcome to do so, too.
      Gagandeep

  2. Renee says:

    Of course Mr. Sturdy has faith in LNG he works for Christie Clark. Jordan Sturdy is a disappointment, has chosen to ignore the legitimate concerns of his constituents regarding the potential opening of Woodfibre LNG in Squamish.

    • Chris Pilutik says:

      Don’t forget we live in a democracy. I and the majority voted for Jordan. Thus he works for Christie Clark. Your concerns are completely unfounded scare tactics. The LNG Plant must and will come.

      • Adam says:

        Hey Chris,
        Why ‘must’ LNG come? Can you outline your rationale? Curious to know what problem you have that LNG is going to solve that another industry couldn’t.

  3. gillian says:

    Many of your constituents are asking for a land and marine management plan (see petition). Howe Sound remains vulnerable in the meantime for destructive industry.
    https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/SAVE_HOWE_SOUND/

  4. Mina Kavia says:

    An MLA that states that he is a pragmatist is not looking at the pragmatism of nature
    Nature is the most pragmatic, in all its dimensions and her voice needs to be heard.
    This voice takes precedence over some financial gain that Jordan Sturdy and Christie Clark will have.
    The voice of the dolphins, whales, salmon, the air and the fragility of the Howe sound
    must be our only voice on this issue.
    Lets not wait until there is a fire from a freighter or the plant itself . Protection and Prevention is the only option. I would love to see the Howe sound be made a UNESCO world heritage site;as its the most amazing fjord in Canada
    Maybe Mr Sturdy could make this a practical option instead.

    • Mona Benge says:

      I am so glad to see people speaking out against the proposed floating LNG plant that will be place adjacent to the shore. Parallel and right beside it is proposed to have a massive used LNG supertanker to store the finished product and then parallel to both there will be the supertanker carrier to take product and follow the shipping route through Howe Sound and through the Georgia/Haro Straits to the ocean.
      The 2008 resolution that passed the UBCM and was supported by every Regional District from Vancouver Island plus the Islands Trust originated with the Powell river Regional District. It requested the federal government to ban LNG tankers from those waters. I hope everyone concerned about this issue will write/phone/email their local represents and Regional District Directors to support the resolution from 2008 which is still in effect. Ask them to champion a new resolution that builds on the one in effect with an amendment to include Howe Sound waters. The narrow waters busy with commercial and recreational boating are part of a tourist destination known the world over. These waters are not the appropriate place for an LNG plant nor 1000′ LNG supertankers. We are told that incidents are rare but rare things happen somewhere and if they involve LNG they are catastrophic. Don’t let this hazardous project bring the risk to Howe Sound and your community.

  5. Jean says:

    I did but was censored by the looks of it

  6. Don Patrick says:

    Good interview… only problem I have is with the Grizzly issue, never came across a guide that was smarter than the hunted… but then what else is new. The environmental concerns make me sick…. nice to have a job like a teacher or in the medical profession that is permanent and in-house (not to mention the ridiculous pension guarantees) and then be a critic of something outside the fence that can produce jobs that keep the country financed. The fact of the matter is we are not here forever and of course since that is not a good subject it is not discussed as an every day subject. People are only living over 50 today because of GM foods and a life style that has allowed the features of today…. ask someone of the fifties and sixties how much extra monies was available to spend on toys and massage therapy and all those wellness games that we play today. Lets get real…some of our grandchildren will be fortunate to live our lifestyle and all the good things we experience these days …. the proposed environment changes will not extend that time line enough to cause elation. Lets just play it smart… if a catastrophic occurrence can happen, increase the reliability but do not hamper the projects because some self centred person has money to throw away for tax purposes and has a following of intellectual idiots.

    • Adam says:

      Not even where to begin with this Don. People are not living over the age of 50 because of Genetically Modified Crops. That is patently false and has nothing to do with this article. The rest, I’ll let stand on it’s own….not sure what your point even is.

  7. Jean says:

    Here is maybe a more constructive idea .. why not pull all the names of your blog that talk about LNG etc and invite them to question Mr Sturdy and that interview would be worth printing. …and reading.

    • Jon S. says:

      Jean this is not an article specifically about LNG. It is about Mr. Study’s first year in office. If you have a question worth asking, ask him yourself!

  8. Mona Benge says:

    comment about the guide vs. the hunted. Guess you have not seen the horrific pictures of hunters posing with grizzlies hanging up beside them for photo ops. And they don’t just kill males. Since hunts are in the spring that risks leaving small cubs with no way to fend for themselves to the mercy of predators and/or starvation. With this proposal there are not many jobs involved so that argument is meaningless. The Woodfibre executive at the meeting I attended confirmed there would be many less than one hundred which makes sense as the facility is to be built abroad and floated in to situate on a barge. And the workers, for the most part, that they require have special skills.

  9. chris tamburri says:

    Gee (Don Patrick) sure is a wind – bag .
    Do you realy think you make any sense ?

  10. chris tamburri says:

    To Mina and other uniformed industry haters.

    There are 29 fijords between here and Alaska .
    Why not save Howe Sound for industry and save all the other ones for Mother Nature . Get off your butt and have a good look around this coast.
    Any industry with 100 jobs should be coached to do it right and welcomed
    to our community.

    • Jon S. says:

      Well said Chris!

    • Adam says:

      You people keep referring to 100 jobs as if everyone in town is going to get $300K/yr. to work 3 days each week. Get real.
      1) There are no jobs yet.
      2) Any jobs associated with LNG come with an insanely high environmental cost – if you don’t understand how this impacts you, you’re either suffering a mental deficit or just plant too lazy to do the research.
      3) You probably won’t land one of the ‘jobs’ that LNG will bring. Your best buddy probably won’t either. Why? Because TFW’s are perfect for this work. They have the skills and they can be paid less. Further, they’ll be sending the majority of their paycheques back home so guess what? All the money that you think is going to flow into your autobody shop, or restaurant or housing won’t.
      4) When the LNG pricing model no longer works, the plant will close – just like Woodfibre did and then we’re all screwed AGAIN. Did we learn nothing? All of the business that is just now starting to take root in Squamish will be gone by then so it’s back to square one.

      Can we please do some reading and analysis of the issue before we parrot whatever the government or the Plant Operator spoon feed us.

  11. Sarah says:

    To Chris Tamburri, The reason why LNG should not be int he Howe Sound is that people live here. Squamish seems to be just starting to really get busy as the “Recreation Capital of Canada” Why risk this massive growth industry for 30-50 jobs. Not sure where 100 jobs came from? Are developers really going to want to invest their money into the Oceanfront Developemnt when the view is a humming LNG plant ?

    • Adam says:

      Well said. Squamish is starting to boom. We should ALL be proud of that. Let’s not let LNG screw that up.

  12. chris tamburri says:

    We can have all that at once . The technology exists to allow almost any industry to operate with a low environmental impact. Let ‘s use it .
    Besides ,all the pipelines and gas plants , and tanker traffic should be right under the noses of the people that use it . Not off in the true wilderness,
    where nobody is watching.

  13. Jon S. says:

    It is nice to see a level headed MLA like Jordan. We should all be proud to have someone from the corridor represent us with such integrity.

  14. Adam says:

    If Jordan had faith in the process, he’d let the residents of Pemberton, Whistler, Squamish and West Vancouver have a plebiscite on this issue. He won’t because this project is going to be rammed down our throats no matter what. Unless of course we stand up and reject it wholesale – which I hope we’re smart enough to do.

    Jordan has rolled the dice on his political career and time will tell if he bet right or not because this project has pissed off a large and rowing number of people.