Anti-LNG Protest Draws 100 People

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As many as 100 protestors took to Highway 99 to protest the proposed LNG operation. Photo: Gagandeep Ghuman

By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: May 17, 2014

As many as 100 people gathered along Highway 99 at Shannon Falls to protest the proposed LNG project in Squamish.

The protest was organized by My Sea to Sky, an anti-LNG group co-founded by Tracey Saxby.

Saxby said the LNG plant is part of a fossil fuel economy with a boom and bust cycle that can directly impact the new economy emerging in Squamish, one of film, rec-tech, and knowledge based industry.

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“We are not saying no to industry, but this doesn’t fit our vision of a young, hip sustainable community,” she said.

Saxby said volunteer researchers from the community are currently studying sustainable industries that would be a good fit for Squamish, a closed-containment fish farm, for example.

She also questioned the provincial environmental assessment process, saying it’s a flawed. She said the province has never said no to a project in her knoweldge.

“It makes me concerned that it’s a set up to rubber stamp projects,” she added.

Former mayoral candidate Auli Parviainen said there has been no political process for community input into the LNG project.

She also said there needs to be a discussion on the bigger issue of what kind of economy we want in town and in the province.

“It’s (LNG) again based on non-renewable resource extraction, the tax benefits are dubious and jobs will require special expertise with people coming from elsewhere for these jobs,” she said.

It reduces industrial land inventory and the profits from the project won’t be kept local, she added.

‘This is money that is headed right out of town.”

Tegan and James Butterworth, a young couple with kids, said they joined the anti-LNG protests because they were concerned about the air quality, fracking, and general health of the ocean and local environment.

The couple said they moved to Squamish when the pulp mill closed down, an important factor in their relocation.

“We won’t be here if the mill was still open,” said Tegan Butterworth.

 

 

Comments

  1. Jean says:

    There is absolute nothing good about the whole thing and only because they had to concede by the effort of concerned citizens of Squamish, have chosen to make them self and the whole process look good, by suggesting that they are, if allowed to proceed, to use the electric way as it looks up front the better and cleaner solution. It still leaves the reality open, that some where North, those mega drill rigs up North doing the pollution for all those want to be LNG friends . One drill rig in average 40,000 hp and guess what they use gas to drive these drills and pump 9000 psi water and sand and undefined chemicals down under, through aquifers that eventually will let the gunk come up or into the rivers and down to us with all the dead fish in it. Lets give it a bit time and prove me wrong . Or maybe some of those enthusiastic supporters, for so very little in it for Squamish, thinking they might get a job if they buy in on the scam. I am firmly convinced if the LNG ever gets going and I hope it wont, within years all the rest of the World that has equal or even more Gas reserves will be competing for the little bit that is needed when Thorium and Ocean wave power, besides Solar and Run of the Rivers and Wind power is established and functioning . The mayor anticipated customer openly staid ” LNG good cleaner source of energy for interim solution!!!” do I read more then what he actually wanted to say . Meaning we use it until all the other renewable energy sources are in place and don,t we know that China has as much or more then Canada and the USA together. Natural gas witch is a misnomer actually, natural gas is only natural as a byproduct of vertical oil well pumping crude oil…the other stuff is Earth Gas, pure Methane” or UN-natural gas, we even can call it, “polluted not knowing whats in it gas” as it is done in horizontal drilling in shale deposits and as mentioned treated with undisclosed chemicals … maybe even a good way to get rid of hazardous supplies, that would cost a lot to Hazmat dispose or neutralize!
    So does the government actually know that Peru has way more Gas then Canada, is as close to Asia as we are and Oregon is drilling in the Ocean just like Australia and Australia is very close to Asia, so please hire some mathematicians and start re-thinking that whole fiasco, before we have to pay for the misadventure now in progress. Lets free some of the planed expenditures money, to invite companies to create clean energy products to come to Squamish with intensives, or for the time being, use the CNG already available, but not sold by Fortis to the consumers that want it, as cleaner energy and properly promote and making it available.. the USA is on its way, how long for the government to wake up from a bad dream?

  2. G_h says:

    From our Former Mayoral Candidate “The tax benefits are dubious and jobs will require special expertise with people coming from elsewhere for those jobs”. First of all, both those statements are open to debate. WLNG say their tax contribution in Squamish will be substantial and I have seen no evidence to contradict that. I know they are keen to get an indicative number into the public domain. And there should be a reasonable proportion of jobs available to the existing population, especially people with experience from the heavy industries that left town a decade ago. But, anyway, everyone in Squamish is from “elsewhere”, if you look back far enough. (Auli herself was born in Finland, AFAIK.) In a dynamic country like Canada it is quaint to imagine towns as static places where the population never shifts. And there are plenty of people keen to leave if they could sell their homes at a decent price, which a large new employer in town would help facilitate.

  3. Jon S. says:

    This represents less than a half precent of our population. Hardly a protest!

    • Alexandra Suhner Isenberg says:

      Yes, but half a percent of the population of Vancouver would exceed 50,000, so 100 people in Squamish says something.

      • Jon S. says:

        Actually it does not say much. First of all this is not Vancouver. Secondly I drove past this shameful protest and there was not anywhere close to 100 people, so not even a half percent. Third, the announcement that Woodfibre LNG was going electric had well over a hundred attendees.

        Lastly, why where all these people not working? Clearly they are indicative of the Squamish’s need for jobs.

      • Jon S. says:

        You should check your math…

        Now you stated Vancouver so I would assume the City of Vancouver. In which a half percent of the population would be 3072 based upon the 2011 census results of 603,502 residents.

        Now if you were erroneously referring to the population of Metro Vancouver as simply Vancouver then a half percent would still only be 11,567 people based upon the 2011 census results of 2,313,328. Still not even close to 50,000.

        For the record, to find a half percent you need to multiply the population by 0.005.

        So much for significant.

      • TJay says:

        This isn’t Vancouver ! Watch the oranges and apples comparisons….

  4. Michael Enders says:

    Sick and tired of the nay-sayers in this town for development. If you don’t like it, leave! There are people who want to live and work here, and can’t do both when businesses are being turned away again and again!!!

  5. Gary says:

    It’s exactly people like these who proclaim jobs jobs jobs during the council elections. So, here is a 100 jobs and it’s not good enough because they are highly specialized and people will come from outside ? Really ? And what exactly is wrong with that, again ? We all came from somewhere.
    Kirkham isn’t as dynamic as I’d like to be, but boy, I’m sure happy we don’t have Auli as our Mayor.

  6. Wolfgang W says:

    Have you been misquoted Auli? People ‘coming from elsewhere’, especially highly skilled and likely well paid ones, seen as a negative?
    I am all for evaluating the economics of this project, particularly what’s in it (or not) for the provincial and District taxpayer, but surely such evaluation should also include taking into account the multiplier effect on the District’s economy through the jobs created and the onging services needed. Clarification needed, Auli!

  7. Kelly says:

    “Former mayoral candidate”….? Seriously old news, Gagan.

    • Auli has an important voice in this community, and part of the reason is her near victory as a mayor in the last elections. Plus, it’s always good to think about new readers and give them a context about people they are more likely to hear from in the future.

  8. Tatiana Kostiak says:

    120 people on a regular business day, during regular business hours is impressive indeed. It’s everyone’s right to protest and I am always surprised when people attempt to tear down those who stand up for how they feel. I only ask that before you criticize you ask yourself what would compel you to get you out of the house/off your bike/snowboard or forfeit money you would have made from working? What would you stand up for that you believe in?

    If Friday’s group represented ‘hardly a protest’ to you, why feel compelled to say anything? Obviously it did something.

  9. Jean says:

    It is not Auli that has to do any clarification. It is the DOS that has to come forward with clarification on what they can guarantee as having had hopefully discussions and if so, the result or firm commitments from any high level discussions, not as maybes but contractual obligations negotiated .
    – First safety of the new 26 inch pipeline passing under developed and populated residential and commercial ground
    – Then firm commitment as to taxes anticipated, with
    potential additional future cost to DOS as to Fire protection etc.
    – Then the absolute commitment of jobs created and what kind and wedder local trained or from elsewhere
    – Also what is the potential of the just starting and enhanced tourism/adventure industry, verso chemical industry like LNG and with some Rec-tech industry having started and or looking on coming in and then the ( 22Million Sea to Sky Gondola…a real winner and a first from a private investment in recreation, fitting totally the intent of the present Branding)
    – Any possible negatives, air, visual, noise , potential explosion of LNG and disaster on LNG freighter traffic Marine life and pollution here and North …. there are probably a few more but the District so far has been absolute non vocal and even the proposed private committee to be formed to advise… and soon a month since the deadline of application and still no comment, as to its existence… we have been told that Fortes BC etc is of course on the committee and it would be nice to have a balance membership, but more then anything, the present leadership and the potential future candidates should come forward and state there platforms and maybe a plebiscite would now be a good idea to eider activate the discussion level to a higher and more scientific unbiased level, to enhance the process or then concede to a majority, if the facts show that there is any or at least a minimum benefit to Squamish and maybe we could be the battle ground for the whole and somewhat insane LNG fancy, that some are thinking, it could be a good thing, but with very little facts backing it up, other then with possible some selfish ambitions to make a stand to enter politics, or being loyal to the proponents for future considerations, maybe anticipating a momentary boom to there business interest also.

  10. Brad Hodge says:

    The anti-LNG folks have some fair points, and their concerns should be listened to and respected, if not agreed with. I personally do not agree with them at all on LNG, but what I find more bothersome than that stance is the exclusionary phrases they use like ‘My Sea to Sky’ and ‘our vision’. I don’t recall having a vote to make Squamish a ‘young, hip and sustainable’ community. I definitely do not recall voting for anyone to enforce this vision over everyone else’s. I would certainly never endorse any vision that ostracizes, by implication, an entire age segment, since we will all have our turn getting old.

    I certainly don’t deny that some moved here because they hoped to live in pristine surroundings. However, these folks should reconcile themselves to the fact that there are others who moved here or were already here who support a diverse vision that may include industry, even LNG, and that it was always intended that there would be a replacement for the pulp mill eventually. No one vision is paramount and we all must compromise. Nobody owns ‘Squamish’ or gets to have a monopoly on what it must be. It belongs to all of us, each in our own way.

    • Adam says:

      Not sure how a town being ‘young, hip and sustainable’ is a bad thing for ‘old’ people or anyone else. Would old, out of touch and unsustainable be more advantageous in your mind?

      Secondly, we live in a democracy, so the majority rules, like it or not. Squmish has a very bright future ahead of itself if it doesn’t get sucked back to industry as the sole employer and yes, you’ll see an exodus of those young, hip and sustainable minded individuals if LNG proceeds. Good you say? Have you ever been to Trail, because that’s what this place will end up looking like if my kids and their friends move to get away from the hazards of LNG.

  11. Chris Jenkins says:

    Well stated, Brad. As a person who came to Squamish when there was a pulp mill, sawmills, chemical plant, logging, and other industries that have not deterred me from enjoying all that this area offers , I particularly am worried about the rise of some of these groups that purport to speak for ” the majority” of residents and non residents. By all means, have your protest if you must ( personally, I think it was poor form to hold it on the opening day of the gondola) but call it what it is. You are a group protesting LNG et al but you are not speaking for me and a large number of others who chose not to get involved in your war of words. My sea to sky is obviously not the same as other’s sea to sky but our sea to sky combined should include vision from more than one point of view.

  12. larry mclennan says:

    A> I hope that Jean is not allowed around or to be in possession of anything sharp

    B> The LNG detractors seem to be of the opinion that the LNG plant will be spewing clouds of SO2 or some equivalent over the corridor. Do they have any documentation of this occuring with other LNG plants? It seems to me that the detractors are relying on questionable “factoids” to create a atmosphere of fear rather than a rational debate.

  13. Anne Bright says:

    Some great thought-provoking comments here.

  14. heather gee says:

    What is blatantly obvious from reading through the insulting tone of the majority of these comments is that these readers did not take advantage of the reams of professional scientists, economists and others who were brought in to Squamish to share their professional research and advice with locals in public meetings. What a pity!

  15. Jean says:

    There is much more at stake then LNG…
    If people just would study a bit and maybe dream about stuff that would benefit Squamish first and the Globe as an other nice thought to leave a legacy.
    CNG/NGT is a vital commodity for economic boost to Squamish much more then LNG and would be readily available for our economy right now and not in a few years maybe, as LNG might be. CNG would be readily available in our Valley right now, if released to the public. Especially with all the commuters to Vancouver and Whistler, if available, it could make a lot of people happy. Unfortunately it is a chicken and egg situation . Unless available not to many people knowing about it and others patiently waiting and waiting and in the meantime, all that available CNG/NGT now anticipated to be shipped to Woodfibre to be exported. Unlike me, many not knowing what they are missing, not willing to put up a fight in order to get it, as it is especially valuable to those that have no home. Natural Gas, as our local Gas company is artificially jacking up the cost of new installation development , eider to maximize there profit or rather sending that amount in form of LNG elsewhere at a premium. Unfortunately if LNG should be allowed to proceed here in Squamish, not only has W-LNG said they would not provide it to Squamish and only exporting it and it could have again, a domestic desirable effect if it would be available, but worse then that, the now Home Gas gas customers would have to match the export price of LNG,as it is expected to be higher in the beginning until all the other players in the World including China, that has in relation to us 2 x the Gas reserves and is only short term interested to buy from some country, that will provide it at lowest cost, until they are ready or willing to use there own.

  16. Edward D. Alder says:

    Wow, it is fascinating to read so many of these comments, and the retorts that they evoke. I will say that as a 19 year resident, and a well paid employee of reputable company in the natural gas industry, that mis information and flat out fear mongering and taurus excrement is deeper than than Howe Sound itself! And declaring that some anti industry group speaks for “the residents of this hip, young town” is beginning to make me feel ill. Squamish will prosper with Woodfibre LNG and Sea to Sky Gondola together, as well as being a bedroom community to hundreds of other primary, secondary, and tertiary industry employees. Consider the hipocracy of turning against a particular sector just because you “heard something” that didn’t sound clean, green, or sustainable enough about it? Use your own brains if you’ve got ’em, and find out facts, before dismissing what is one hell of a lot cleaner than the coal fired heat and generation the industrialized world has been puking out for 1500 years. Consider the hipocracy of denouncing an energy source you are already using to heat your own homes, like really? Yes, locals have told me straight faced, “yes I heat my home with natural gas, no I don’t want THAT in my town”.
    I shake my head and wonder how these people could graduate school let alone hold a job.

  17. Jean says:

    It is amazing own many employees of the Gas company are writing in this blog, the a good part of the rest would like to be employees, of a soon to be obsolete Gas industry and a few that profit from a short term boom of LNG besides some far out environmentalist that mean well, but maybe are to young to understand everything.
    Lets get it straight, Gas is good at the moment, the best solution until all the other possibilities are coming on board and I hope soon.
    So to say people that are using Gas at the moment are Hippocrates to say LNG is not good, is just ridicules. If you would read what I had said with regards of selling CNG now called NTG by your company to the public, at a reasonable price, is what it is all about. Lets face it to write a blog to impress the President Mr… is a good strategy for advancement, but a bad deed to the real problem and with it of course, if LNG is being exported for a short therm, a benefit for some .The problem is what we are missing while others are working on renewable clean or at least cleaner energy. The focus should be to use what we have first, to the maximum, even so it is not necessary making the company that is peddling it richer in an instant, selling the present supply on bulk and exporting it, is much more a desirable solution to the company, that way they are getting a bucket full of money with every ship that would leave W-LNG and all in one invoice. To expand that to every body that wants it at an affordable price and then get from as many also a nice bundle, takes much more of an effort and of course would create much more industry here and employment then a plumber, a welder and an electronic guru, to operate a LNG plant, once it is build ( elsewhere not here!!) and that is a fact, because most of the jobs that they promote today can be replaced, by not as before some hard working blue collar workers, but automated high tech electro-mechanical systems, that need very little technically highly trained people, that are not available right now anyway and if trained, only a few qualified, the bulk of the once Woodfibre type of operators are obsolete and lets face it, we need jobs for our population that has the level that they can be trained to operate such enterprises or businesses. Tourism is far more of a potential job market for easy going smiling and happy go luck individuals, even so the company might have to restrict the talk about hockey on the job.

  18. larry mclennan says:

    Ed- Jean- Its spelled hypocrisy- please get it right as you exchange vitriol. Hippocrates was, I believe, the father of modern medicine-ergo the Hippocratic Oath in regard to the code of ethics for medical doctors, Jean. And Jean, try reducing your coffee consumption before blogging.

  19. adam says:

    Canadians need to look to so many other countries when it comes to protesting. 100 people is a start and not to be joked about. It’s 100 people who I’m sure had something better to do and decided this was more important. I remember the poll tax in the UK being introduced. Without people protesting and simply saying no way, it would have gone through. We need to stop worrying about being mean and nice all the time and get out there to make a change. We all sit around and complain more than the Brits do and that is saying something!

  20. Rick says:

    I just had a bird hit my window and sadly it did not survive. It was an American Gold Finch. If your not a bird watcher or someone that enjoys natures little critters, the Gold Finch is a very pretty little critter. I am upset and mostly angry. I am going to organize a protest to ban all windows in Squamish. We must protect our Sea to Sky critters.

    Sounds pretty stupid doesn’t it. (But sadly the part about the bird is true)

  21. Jean says:

    Larry and anybody else… Do you have House hold Gas? Did it cost you 80,000 Canadian $..as the Gas Company wants to charge me? That,s why I don,t have it, I am not a fat cat, and probably never will be. It is of course easier to ship a 24 inch High Pressure line full of F racked Methane Gas ( not the Natural Gas that is legitimate by drilling for oil) to where ever and for how ever long it will last… I guess maybe a few years. That way at least the business is easy .. one invoice for a shipload of LNG and no problem having to expand and supply the local market , possible open up the NTG Highway, Whistler to Vancouver for commuters and unfortunately there are many invoice transactions needed to do business on a local market and of course many less jobs as to install gas to the local consumers etc.So I don,t need Coffee , one in the morning is enough to fire up my emotions and I love to tell people about it, but I think it is very hard to explain it to some, not knowing they could have the cake and eat it to.
    So as to spelling I can spell a few other or better miss spelling a few other Languages and sometimes I do get mixed up. Maybe the spelling could be an excuse to put my thoughts aside and just blindly follow the Leader. I live to tell, if I see him or here go the wrong way, I am brought up as a fierce Democrat and came to a place with less bureaucracy that I liked, but lately it seams that eider things are just jammed down our thorough without discussion, or the masses not just me, are not let to express them self and to have a productive dialog. Where is the plebiscite, where is the promised advisory group to be chosen by the DOS, to advise them, where are all the Spin Dr,s and for whom are they working?

  22. larry mclennan says:

    Jean-How large is that cup of morning coffee? I wouldn’t be surprised if it was 45 gallons.

  23. Jean says:

    Is this your contribution to the most important issue of the day … how about answer my request simple,
    did you pay 80,000 $ for your gas?

  24. larry mclennan says:

    I paid $2.29 for a can of PC chili- it was very good but with the usual gastric results. Where do you get this $80,000 figure from? Juan Valdez must be putting a little something extra in your coffee source.

  25. Jean says:

    Larry, You are a great joker.. As an accountant and one I once voted for… our Gas Company wanted first 94,000$ and since has reduced it to a ridiculous 80,000 $ for 600 M of a 2 inch low pressure gas line to my house that would service an other40 houses. If interested into the facts that they actually after consulting BCUC came up with, a cost estimate that would make you proud to be an accountant and the smallest part of the estimate was flag service while constructing it @ 3500 $
    If the Chief would not live of the advertising of the big companies, they had the letter I wrote and quite frankly, never printed it. With joking nobody wins, except the ones that know how to conquer by divide and have the Spin Dr, on the pay role. Are you one of them?

  26. larry mclennan says:

    Ahh, so , as I understand it, Fortis ?? wanted $80 K to put 600 m of a gas line into a subdivision. What was the estimated time for installation? $3500 over ,say,a week for 2 or 3 traffic control persons is about $1000/ employee including labour load and profit- not out of line(pun intended). Also, I’m assuming, in addition to the 600 m ; there is the individual hook-ups to 40 houses ($500/ house?- $20,000) included in the cost. Assuming the above is correct ; $80,000 doesn’t seem so out of line.

  27. Rick says:

    Hey Jean,
    Don’t mean to sound like a smart a@@, but you should take real estate course and learn what location,location,location means. To others it means services,services,services.

  28. TJay says:

    Wow!… a whole 100 protesters…Impressive !….Hah hah hah

  29. Jean says:

    Now we are getting some where….

    The government at one point gave away the Gas business once held by the Province under Hydro… Who did what to Whom is not the issue at the moment.
    It is democracy and not location, location. Location, that is real estate and bankers talk. If the public needs services and is prepared to pay for it, but not if at absorbent cost, they will burn wood and pollute or buy high priced Hydro to be paying even more for in the future, as soon as the electricity is consumed by the LNG plant and one of a sudden one has to adjust to pay for those high prices negotiated for many years, that we have to pay for the power from Run of the River projects and possible site C dam, again an other monopoly created by the government not in the interest of the public. So back to the outrageous cost estimate to people interested to hook up to the Gas line. Those people that assume and make calculation with fantasy numbers have to listen and talk to those affected, before making assumptions. If I would bring in the gas line to my property, I would be out say ~+ $80,000 out of pocket, now down from ~ 94K just a year ago.. Below is the bogus cost estimate. Why I would have to pay 80 K for a service that they are afterwards selling me there goods, am I there Banker to create there infra structure???
    Now any body making a living in the real world that means is not a Banker , Realtor, Accountant, Dentist, Doctor, Car dealer, Insurance agent, Government employees, Politician and a whole lot more… would say, how is it possible and who am I going to pay for it. If I could rent a “ditch witch” and have 2 helpers and a bit of foresight and ingenuity, I say $10,000 would be a fair number. but of course our self inflicted pain by letting cost of doing business getting the better of us, is getting to the point where people that like to create employment, or just make a decent living for themselves and there family and are in any other then above trades, professions, or associations, that can still afford the self inflicted pain of outrageous rising costs, to the point that not to far away some big bang not boom is going to happen. Again the assumption that the 20 houses would pay for it is also false, because many of these almost 40 houses are now somewhat set up with old fashion technology and if the cost is to high, they will keep on burning fossil fuel, what a shame. So here is the cost breakdown and I have never heard or seen an open bidding going on for such services to be advertised, so I believe those cost estimates are Gas company generated costs, with substantial profits incorporated. Yes as to Location, Location, value of properties that having Gas would be more desirable and possible even bring in some entrepreneurs, that would create jobs.
    Here is the cost estimate:
    Excavation and Trucking (including dumping fees for spoil) $ 17,000 ( ***MY COMMENTS )….***A ditch 6 inch wide 4 ft down for a 2 inch Gas pipe, does not create 17,000 of excavation!!!……Landscape Remediation (fill, aggregates, sand, compaction, paving, etc.$16,000 *** most of the 600M line is on crown land need no landscaping …….Labour for Pipe Installation, Connection and Service Line **** connecting to my stove was Quoted prior for $ 28.80 …..Alteration (including testing and gasification $ $27,000 … *****Would love to know how much profit to the company is in that one……..Materials: Pipe, meters, regulators, construction materials, etc. $23,000 *** sounds again very High…..Traffic Management (flagging, lane closure equipment) $3,500 ***** don,t know why a lane closure is required as construction is on crown land with no sidewalk on road…..Permits and Surveying $1,000 *** cant be avoided Government has to make a profit total …… Total Cost: $ 87,500
    Now I could forget about bringing gas to my property, if only the Gas company would be required and willing at least to provide CNG as for cars now called NTG at reasonable cost to a outlet like a gas station, to Squamish and to the corridor, because I would have my own cost efficient solution to the problem and would love to share it with anybody willing to listen. So lets be aware that the LNG pipeline right now is being surveyed by FOCUS.. and seams to be a done deal for some.

  30. Jean says:

    PS. forgot the 40X500 figure = $20,000 included …… wrong….. no hookup included in the $80 K estimate just the cost estimate to bring Gas to the vicinity.