Heavy Industry and Tourism Don’t Mix, says Anti-LNG Activist

Eoin Finn

Eoin Finn is a member of the Future of Howe Sound Society and My Sea to Sky.
Photo: David Fournier.

Eoin Finn is a member of My Sea to Sky and the Future of Howe Sound Society. In an interview with Gagandeep Ghuman, Finn explains why he thinks heavy industry like Woodfibre LNG threatens the environment and the town’s emerging tourism-based economy.

How did you get interested in the LNG issue?

I heard about the LNG plant from Ruth Simons, who invited me to come to the forum that they put on in Britannia Beach and there was a presentation by Byng Giraud about LNG. And of course, Future of Howe Sound was all about tourism and the logging proposal for Gambier and the potential Mcnab Creek Gravel Pit and more recently a proposal for the incinerator at Port Mellon had set the alarm bells ringing. The Howe Sound I know is basically a recreational corridor to Squamish, whistler and Pemberton and it’s under threat from various sources.

The Woodfibre was one that intrigued me and it’s been 3-4 months researching what LNG is all about, whether it’s safe or if this is the right place for it.

Alta_Lake_Electric-500x65-Jun2014

How did you get involved with My Sea to Sky?

The involvement with My Sea to Sky happened because I met Tracey Saxby who said there are a group of people in Squamish who don’t feel that LNG plant is really what Squamish and Howe Sound should be about. We will be better to accept the tourism industry that has grown up around Squamish that than clear cutting an island or putting an LNG plant or putting an incinerator at Port Mellon.

So, how would these projects affect Howe Sound?

The impact would be that the tourists would go away along with the image of the Supernatural BC that tax payers have spent so much money promoting. The herring are returning, the orcas, the dolphins, and eventually the salmon are making reappearance and if we characterized the Sound as an industrial location and not a rec and tourism, it would change the character of the town. This place is a big tourism draw with 2.4 million tourists going up and down Highway 99 every year. They drop 1.4 billion dollars in the economy of Whistler and Squamish. 

Can you think of an example where reindustrialization has erased tourism?

I can’t actually off hand where that has happened, but I know the attraction of Whistler, Howe Sound to tourists is the wonderful remoteness, the view of the mountains, this is the classic picture of what BC is, so important.

So, why can’t industry and tourism exist together?

The image that tourists come here to buy and pay for the experience isn’t synonymous with industrial site, the smokestacks billowing smoke, clear cut logging, gravel mills grinding away, or industrial scale incinerator belching smoke. For that they can stay home, they come to see wild rugged country and enjoy skiing in whistler. 

So, if a tourist comes here to climb or ski, do you think they would stop coming here if there was an LNG plan?

I think so. If you have done climbing on the slabs and I have, when you are sitting there and stretch out behind you and see smokestack belching…it’s not quite the experience you want. When you take a gondola up to the top, you are looking straight down and what you are looking at is Woodfibre.

We have had tourism and logging, for example?

I regard logging as a sustainable industry, with a sustainable forest practice, and that happened largely because of influence of people who are sensitivities over the last 20 years. I welcome logging that is done sensitively and various efforts have been made to do that. 

But tourism is a seasonal industry, what do we all those when we don’t have tourism?

Yes, but Squamish can make the effort to make tourism industry not seasonal, and then some service industries, the university is a growing business and provides year-long employment. With Garibaldi, this will be a growth area for people who want to use that facility, so I see the tide is turned and implementing high industry projects in the Howe Sound in Squamish is trying to flip the page back to a bygone era.  

Sea_to_Sky_Business_Park-450x55-May2014

Some feel that the argument of visual impact to tourists is an elitist and an exclusionary kind of argument?

Well, there are other factors, as the understanding increase about climate change and safety of having tonnes of inflammable gas sitting right there next to a liquefaction plant and the use of high energy sources. There have been accidents and no one would want to see them here. Yes the tanker safety record is very good, but not unblemished. There is the impact of the marine life of putting a floating plant on the water, the noise emanating from the plant. All the research we have done has said that is a high noise level and herring will be scared away as they use sound to communicate and then there will be the noise of the liquefaction plant. 

You can’t really support families with just a tourism based economy?

I beg to differ, and if I read anything about the Howe Sound, it’s been based on boom and bust cycle. Is that the future and are those the jobs that people want their sons and daughters and grandson and granddaughter to have? We have gone past the industrial age and Squamish too has moved ahead. 

What makes you think the plant will be highly inflammable?

There was an accident where a plant in Algeria blew up and we have had a big event in Cleveland that killed 140 people. About six weeks ago, a plant in Oregon blew up and there was the case of an explosion of a truck in China. It’s a very gripping testimony that LNG doesn’t merely vaporise and disappear. 

What else do you oppose in LNG?

This isn’t a very good business deal for Squamish, BC or even Canada. I’m glad they have decided to use electric power, but that power is supplied by BC Hydro and that is sold to large industrial users at a discounted rate, and that rate was 4.4 cents per kilowat hour in 2012. Now, the government has always subsidised hydro to attract large labour and capital intensive industrial. Who subsidises it? It’s the residential consumer. The premise is there will be jobs, and the problem here is the energy demands are huge but the numbers of jobs are tiny. 

But the subsidy is for the whole industry, not just LNG?

The problem is the subsidization amount. BC Hydro will need to make the electricity at the Site C, where the proposed dam will cost 8-10 cents minimum per kilowatt hour, and they have to sell it to Woodfibre LNG at 4.4 cents and that amounts to a huge subsidy for an industry that won’t really give back any really jobs. I think we should have tourism based industry or if we could attract some high-tech industry or high professional services industry and I think you will be much better and you are already started to do that.

What support of industrial activity could you support?

 Since the Squamish band has proposed a closed containment salmon farm along with incinerator, and there is a model of that in Port Mcneil that has been successful. And the tourism industry is already here, and there is more coming with the Garibaldi ski slope, the increase in the tourism business for things like the Gondola. We need to nurture it, because that doesn’t go boom and bust. It may sag, it may increase, but it doesn’t go bust.

Economic development and jobs was a huge election issue last time and Woodfibre has talked about creating jobs?  

When you look at the number of jobs versus the cost of having those jobs here, it’s not an equation that is in favour of Squamish. Your average hotel has more staff than this is going to employ, the gondola is going to have more staff than Wodfibre LNG. Many of the people in Squamish will remember that the town is 40 per cent bigger than what it was when Woodfibre pulp mill was here. So it has grown and increased the number of people who are employed here, despite the fact that the heavy industry went away and stayed away.

Garibaldi_Springs_Golf_Resort-500x55-May2014

So, while we are building tourism infrastructure, if we get heavy industry, should we reject that?

Yes, I think so yes because it’s the wrong direction, you are going to kill the golden goose of the tourism and recreation. 

Is there anything LNG can do to make this acceptable?

They have taken one big step but they could remove the bias in the structure that threatens to take all of the profits from this plant and make them off shore. They will pay no carbon tax because they are not burning any of the product here. They structure has to change so they pay taxes like any other Canadian Corporation on the profits that they make here in Canada. The transit of any LNG tanker should be done at night, where they stand very little chance of displacing recreational yachts and the natural tourism industry that is scattered all through marinas and the sound here.

I’d want them to pay carbon tax on GHG emissions, to be subject to BC and Canadian taxes, to guarantee minimum 70 per cent local employment, no flaring except in emergency circumstances, storage tanker boil-off to be re-liquified. I’d also want guarantees for damage to marine life, including herring and cetaceans in Howe Sound. I’d also make the Woodfibre LNG agree to use local labour rather than importing from other parts of Canada or abroad. The difficulty they will encounter in finding locals is competition from other places like Kitimat, Prince Rupert, etc. This is a very small plant one and they may lose in that.

What’s wrong with having more skilled people come to town?

I’m the last one to oppose immigration to Canada as I’m an immigrant to this country 40 years ago. If the promise that Squamish believes is inherent in allowing this plant is that locals will be hired to contribute to the ongoing growth, it may not come true and I’d like to have the company elucidate how they plan to support the education system that will make the skills they need available to them because I don’t see the BC government do that. So therefore the pressure to import foreigners or people from other parts of Canada will be there. 

So, how is it bad for the town if more skilled people came here to live?

The problem is that these are the wrong type of people for the future that most Squamish people envision for Howe Sound. They don’t envision heavy industrial workers. That is a bygone era and it’s an industrial policy that is not suitable for a first world country like Canada. Industry has to be somewhere but you don’t put it in enclosed narrow water way of Howe Sound which is an icon and a magnet for tourists worldwide.

What alternatives energy sources there are for our economy?

We live in a cold country that has a very limited supply of gas to heat ourselves and to cook our food, so do the math. We are exporting our energy future as the gas being a gift so when we do run out, we have the time to transition to a non-fossil fuel source. We are squandering it by sending it overseas. And if the premier points out that we have some kind of moral duty to help China clear its air pollution, then I’d point to Sask where you have 10 coal burning plants between them for whom we seem to have no moral duty. China has made no promises that it will replace its emphasis on coal burning power plants with gas burning power plants, especially if it’s more expensive. You know that Russia and China have done a deal that’s going to ship 38 billion cubic feet of gas and the price that was negotiated, I don’t think that any of the LNG plants can make that price.

 

Comments

  1. TJay says:

    Yet another earth worshiping environmentalist with the very clothes on his back coming from some form of heavy industry…pffffft !!

    • Adam says:

      TJ. As usual, adding very little intelligent dialogue. Why don’t you actually contribute something meaningful to this discussion.

      • TJay says:

        Because my dear feathered freind. I don’t want to come across a total big know-it-all windbag immigrant (to Squamish) like some herein….. Besides, I have waaaaay more fun with MY methods….
        Why so serious? be happy !
        Luv Ya !

        • Adam says:

          So then only ‘locals’ should have an opinion on this issue? Funny that the ‘immigrants’ are the only ones standing up for the town you seems so intent on defending from outsiders. I’m local so feel free to get into specifics with me – I’d be happy to chat.

          I’m also pretty sure your efforts to make this about old and new Squamish will fail. This isn’t an issue that will divide Squamish. I’ve been in Sea-to-Sky for most of my 40 years and like most, value the input of long time residents and those who sought out a better life in an Industry free community.

          Why so serious? Simple TJ. People like yourself would see everything Squamish could be squandered in exchange for a few jobs and empty promises. You’re in direct conflict with the lifestyle that I sought for my family. Our Government is acting with impunity and working in collusion with an industry that has a history of violating the environment, poisoning air, water and land. We’re talking about the lives of British Columbians and to be blunt, I’m not going to sit by while someone tries to further that cause with personal attacks, baseless information and dubious data.

          I fully understand that you’re likely scared of how the economy is evolving and unsure about where you fit in. I understand it’s probably a frightening time for you. Woodfibre offers you a glimpse of your past and understandably you’d like it back. That being said, backwards is not the direction that the majority of the people in this town (new or old residents) want to go so it’s time to evolve and take a step into the light. There’s more opportunity than ever before for Squamish for everyone who wants to partake.

      • TJay says:

        Well done Huu-ay-aht Native band at Sarita Bay Vancouver Island for supporting and backing LNG there. Very intelligent, and smart. A great unselfish Canadian attitude….. Big time applause !!!

  2. Jean says:

    Bring some real benefits about LNG, not just 2 lines of Bash

  3. Don Patrick says:

    Good Interview… Finn is Finn, which really means nothing… on one hand we are advertising the tons of garbage out of the local lakes which is part of the present tourist input, couple of locals but mostly the folks that think they are way out in the bush when they get to Squamish… then we are talking about adding chickens to the back yards plus we have the teachers thinking they are part of the entitlement society, all 50,000 of them, because someone told them they were necessary for society to advance… maybe we should take a time out and put everything into perspective… no tax income, no money for highere standard of living. Leaves me in a never never land, so many folks with guarantee incomes that cannot see the forest for the trees and really do not have a clue how the real world operates, so many seniors that looked after tomorrow only to find themselves in an economic venue that is producing 1/3 of the income compared to 10 years ago……. look at the big picture, not the picture of your back yard. In other words wake up and smell the coffee.

  4. Jaime Duarte says:

    The people against the LNG plant are retired or on welfare. [ Some don’t want to work, others don’t need to work.] This town was formed on logging and the BC rail. and woodfibre. Work was always available in this town. Yes wood fibre was a Polluter in the early years, but it had cleaned up and the marine life was coming back before it closed . It provided many local jobs and the spinoff from that also created jobs in town at more than minimum wage. The taxes that this industries generated kept property taxes down and also utility taxes. We always had turists in the town and yes a majority of them were going to whistler just like it was not long ago, before the new attraction of the gondola . If we don’t get good paying jobs in this town , we will be a bankrupt and forecloser town in twenty years. As it is right now the locals cant afford to buy a nice house here and work here. Detroit was a booming town and with lots of turism and industry , just look at it now. Is this what the menbers of ”My Sea to Sky ” ,Want to see here.? I hope not.

    • TJay says:

      True Jaime……

    • Adam says:

      Sorry, you’re drawing a parallel between Detroit and Squamish? Have you ever been to Detroit Jamie? A tourism hotbed it was/is not.

      Detroit is in the situation it is in because industry was all it had. When the automotive industry was finished with Detroit, they packed up and left the city in a lurch. What about all the spin off business? Gone too. If anything, Detroit should serve as an example of why Oil and Gas is a bad idea.

  5. Brad Hodge says:

    I think Squamish will survive regardless of which way we go on industry.. we are too close to Vancouver to fail. But I think a part of what Squamish is would be forever lost if it succumbs to being a larger version of Lions Bay. It makes me sad to see people who don’t have the education Mr. Finn has being dealt the one-two punch of housing unaffordability and job loss.

    Mr. Finn is wrong here on so many levels. Industry hasn’t killed Vancouver’s burgeoning tourism business. And tourism is no saint when it comes to the environment. I suspect if a solar panel plant were proposed for the site with half the jobs he and MSTS would be all over it, so I don’t think this is really about economics. And as for our ‘remoteness’.. go up to Likely. That is remote. Squamish is decidedly urban. I wonder if Mr. Finn et. al will protest this loudly when our efforts at densification start producing multi story apartments Downtown, in full view of every mountaintop.

    • TJay says:

      Mr. Finn is only an imperfect man, just like the rest of us.
      It is foolish to out and out follow any imperfect man….no matter how smart he may think he is, compared to the rest of us uneducated lowly peasants ( In his mind)…

    • Adam says:

      Brad. Are you serious? You see the options available to us as 1) accept an environmentally destructive toxic, convicted fraudster into our community to build and LNG Facility or 2) be a big version of Lions Bay?

      Do you think that’s a fair representation of the choices before us? Do you believe it’s responsible or honest to make such claims? In place of LNG, Squamish could choose to develop a diverse economy including forestry, fishing, tech, tourism, recreation etc. a very bright future and one very unlike Lions Bay which has for all intensive purposes no business.

  6. Tatiana Kostiak says:

    I’d like to suggest that everyone here attend Eoin’s presentation and Q&A at the Squamish Adventure Centre on Tuesday. (June 10, 7:45-9pm). There is much more to consider than the points here in this interview. What a terrific opportunity to put some questions forward. Look for it on Facebook:Woodfibre LNG Information Meeting – Q&A to register.

    Just 5 minutes ago I watched a video on food production and this comment resonated strongly for me: “The power of wilful ignorance cannot be overstated.” It’s in all of our best interest to be engaged and invest our time and attention to this proposal.

  7. Jean says:

    Rather then attacking people that are researching and putting lots of time in to there presentations …. Where are those so in favour of LNG… lets roll out the real benefit LNG provides for Squamish, not just attacks, but debatable options and real benefits, signed and believable. Other then a possible short term boost to there businesses, as most attacking the other side, appears to be eider looking for a Job with LNG, or some little bit more income for there business for the short term. All looking for the big saviour that will drop those big bills … once installed, those bills are being dropped elsewhere, just as they will be dropped during install all somewhere else.
    PS. Love to be able to make up an informed decision on LNG, so hurry and show me your arguments properly documented. Don,t forget the safety aspect of a potential time bomb under our populated area, plus the total devastation possibilities of a spill and explosion, just check out the last few month ago, where in Washington State a 3.5 Ml radius was cleared because of fear of Asphyxiation potential of the whole population…. http://timrileylaw.com/LNG_PIPELINES.htm

    March 31, 2014 Reuters… “Early Monday, a “processing vessel” at the Williams facility near the small town of Plymouth, Washington, exploded, spraying chunks of shrapnel as heavy as 250 pounds as far as 300 yards, according to local emergency responders. http://timrileylaw.com/LNG_NEWS.htm

  8. D Gillies says:

    Howe Sound is slowly returning to conditions that support herring, dolphins, salmon, orcas and other marine life, after years of pollution from Brittania Mines, and the Woodfibre mill and supporting industry that caused severe pollution on Nexen Beach. If the LNG plant, the Mcnab Creek gravel mine and logging of Gambier Island were to be in full operation, there is no question that the marine life would be decimated due to air, water and noise pollution created by the operations and the ships that would be plowing our waters. We have to treat our environment with care if we want to continue to have a healthy biosystem, of which humans are a part.

  9. Malcolm Dean says:

    Mr. Finn, thank you!
    Any real player in the LNG industry would surly consider the site and loading capacity too small and insignificant for their future endeavours. A floating facility, ridiculous, how about a flat level location out of sight, out of mind say Prince Rupert, BC’s future Fort Mac.
    To those elders who lived through the stench and pollution of the pulp mill, ask them if heavy industry is the answer.
    Could this drive a stake through the heart of any potential ocean front development and begin the plunge of local real estate?
    The show case of the Sea to Sky Gondola, beautiful!
    GAS is looking pretty good right about now.

  10. Jean says:

    Are these negative “Attack Bloggers” possible hired by LNG or are ex political strategists ..talk a lot and say nothing, but attack the other side in negative attacks… fellows… it wont work any more, most of your audiences getting more educated and not listening to Spin Dr,s any more, so don,t waist your 2 line contributions with no substance.
    http://www.liquefiedgascarrier.com/pre-cool-cargo-tanks.html

  11. Gary says:

    Some very good points raised by Finn, especially on BC hydro rates and taxation. I don’t agree that tourism will be affected by LNG, but we do need to consider potential jobs and tax issue. LNG proponents really need to come out with some solid information on jobs and taxes.

  12. Jean says:
  13. Jean says:

    http://timrileylaw.com/LNG%20Vessel%20Liability%20is%20Limited%20by%201851%20U.S.%20Law.pdf

    There are approximately three dozen LNG importation facilities now being proposed throughout the United States coastline communities. Each facility would require gigantic
    LNG tankers holding the energy equivalent of 55 Hiroshima bombs, to deliver their ultra hazardous cargo dangerously close to coastal communities,”said Hayden Riley who
    co-hosts the
    LNG website.Most people don’t know about LNG and the enormous risks it poses, because there are so few LNG facilities in the world. Currently the continental
    United States has only four operating facilities, three of which have never been continually operational since built in the late 70’s; and even though the LNG industry has had
    limited activity in its short history – its safety record is truly alarming,” Mrs. Riley said. Two massive LNG disasters have already occurred.The first in Cleveland, Ohio in 1944,
    which killed 128 people,….read all in above website…..

  14. larry mclennan says:

    Finn states that tankers should only operate at night time so as not to disturb the yachts which, presumably fill up the inlet during the day , or possibly the herring, dolphins and orcas which do the same. I haven’t noticed a large amount of yachts at any particular time in the inlet but , with regard to the various fauna, I can partially agree with Mr. Finn. The herring come in to eat variuos smaller critters and spawn , probably sometime in the morning. The dolphins come in to eat the herring- I presume after the herring have filled up. In like manner, the orcas come in to eat the dolphins. The entire banquet should be finished sometime mid-day. I would therefore suggest that no tankers be permitted to navigate the inlet until after lunch.

  15. G_h says:

    Good interview, Gagan.

    Re “The problem is that these are the wrong type of people for the future that most Squamish people envision for Howe Sound. They don’t envision heavy industrial workers.” … I would pay good money to watch Mr Finn descend from his retirement home on Bowen Island to explain to some of the large proportion of Squamish residents, who have been employed in heavy industry, that they are “the wrong type of people for the future”!

    • Craig D. McConnell says:

      Hello G_h,
      Dr. Finn does present an elitist perspective relative to the technologists, engineers, construction and operating skilled tradespeople that have careers in the BC natural resource industries. I particularly find the perspective troubling from an individual of significant academic (Ph.D & MBA) and career (IT management consultant) achievement. As a self-proclaimed spokesperson for My Sea To Sky and The Future of Howe Sound Society, one would have assumed that his “handlers” would have coached Mr. Finn on the nuances of media and public relations. I now have to question his vision and credibility.
      Given my career to date, I also am “the wrong type of people for the future that most Squamish people envision for Howe Sound.” Since moving to Squamish in December 1993, I have never experienced “class-based” discrimination until now. How far we have come as a community! Are Dr. Finn’s observations a sign of progress or one spokeperson’s poor judgement?
      Craig D. McConnell
      Geoscience Analysis Technology
      Enviro-Guard Technology

    • TJay says:

      For sure….

    • Adam says:

      G-h. Speculating but could Mr. Finn be suggesting that the ownership of LNG might be the issue. This is a group with a horrific environmental record and a CONVICTION for tax evasion/fraud requiring the repayment of $260+ M USD in fines and back taxes. I’d propose that this IS the wrong type of person for our community…and I’m not saying that from ‘my retirement home’. I’m as local as it gets.

  16. Malcolm Dean says:

    Weeks before the federal government’s deadline to announce a decision on Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project, 300 scientists are urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reject the findings of the panel that recommended approving the pipeline, calling them “flawed” and unscientific.
    Stephen Harper says economy trumps climate action.
    Outlining his plan to turn Canada into an “energy superpower,” he told the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce in London that developing the “ocean of oil-soaked sand” in northern Alberta would be “an enterprise of epic proportions, akin to the building of the Pyramids or China’s Great Wall. Only bigger.”
    Of course, transforming Canada into a “superpower” leading the world in an “epic” crusade to build something bigger than the Pyramids could be a good thing.
    However, Harper’s grandiose vision — from which he has never wavered — isn’t about pursuing some worthy goal. It’s about giving some of the world’s richest people a chance to become vastly richer.
    This is why Harper made his ‘Let’s-outdo-the-Pyramids’ speech to a group of foreign investors rather than, say, to the Canadian people, or to the assembled nations at the UN.
    Other large unions officially backing the Enbridge and Kinder Morgan bitumen pipeline projects, as well as fast tracked LNG infrastructure, include the Teamsters, Plumbers, Operating Engineers and Labourers unions.

    “As proud trade union members representing tens of thousands of hard-working Canadians, we believe that Northern Gateway will benefit working families. It will create thousands of well-paying jobs and training opportunities we need to build strong communities,” stated Lionel Railton, acting Canadian regional director of the Operating Engineers, signaling his union hopes the federal government’s decision on the pipeline, due any day, will be a go ahead.
    Guy Gentner :
    “Many public sector union members unknowingly support Northern Gateway. For many union members, dismayed at the constant barrage of Northern Gateway ads must wonder how the consortium can finance such an elaborate media campaign. Look no further than yourself. If you contribute to the BC Public Service Pension Plan your Union Board of Trustees green-lighted the plan’s investment company, the BC Investment Management Corporation, BCIMC, to invest close to half a billion dollars into Enbridge Inc.

    Under the last disclosure statement of March 2013, BCIMC held 10 million shares of Enbridge Inc. and its holding company worth $480,000,000.00, making it the 7th largest company invested in its (your) portfolio. Of course banks led the way but Enbridge still outranked BMO, CPR, software, communication and computer giants such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Rogers, Telus –to name a few, outstripping mining companies, pharmaceuticals.

    In 2012 BCIMC almost doubled its investment into Enbridge from $279 million in 2011 to $405 million in 2012 –the same year that Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines filed with the regulator, the National Energy Board, commercial agreements which fully subscribed for long term service and capacity on both the proposed crude oil export pipeline and the condensate import pipeline.

    BCIMC has inoculated itself by means of a “Shareholder Engagement Team” that “minimizes risks from environmental factors”. In its Corporate Investment Philosophy BCIMC states: ” Poor environmental and social policies can negatively influence its long-term financial performance”; however, tell that to the pension shareholders, public sector union members opposed to Northern Gateway. Better still tell that to BC NDP MLA’s also opposed who also contribute to their pensions and consequently are invested in Enbridge.

    I admit that I’m no better, as I gaze at my retirement application form, knowing that my public pension investment portfolio not only includes a major portion towards Enbridge but Monsanto — a choice ethical company with a profit margin of over 1000% over the past decade. We profit from BCIMC,s mandate to make money, and as much of it as they can; to maximize returns for my future that is left on the planet, but what are we leaving for the future of others, and those who are left with a meager pension and a climate mess?
    The BCGEU, BC teachers, and many other public sector unions, all rightfully have decried about the need for the northern pipeline, but it seems to me we are all on the same tanker that doesn’t want to turn around.
    And regarding Coal? Don’t get me started. The largest public sector pension plan in Canada is the Ontario Teachers Plan and it’s no surprise where it is heavily invested in.”

    • Wolfgang W says:

      Malcolm, too bad your instructive piece about our finger wagging at others while happily benefitting financially from the very things we abhor is buried in a comments column. It is the stuff for an article in its own right!

    • Auli Parviainen says:

      Excellent comment and definitely an article on its own right Malcolm. Some universities have been divesting themselves off fossil fuel industry shares due to heavy student pressure to do so. Just when one gets depressed over the hopeless nature of the merry-go-round capitalist economy a tiny ray of hope appears. Can you imagine the power which actually resides in people through their pension plans? If the people were adamant about divesting from industries which we need to be weaning off from and insist on investing in renewable energy sectors, sustainable food and agriculture and renewable resource development the future would look brighter for us all. As for unions it is maddening to see them support the very same economic system which has consistently reduced opportunities for their own members. The unions should be taking a careful look at how their members can thrive in a post industrial economy.

  17. larry mclennan says:

    So you have a problem with sundry unions trying to get excellent jobs for their membership and with various pension funds trying to get good returns on their investments??

    • Wolfgang W says:

      That’s not the point Larry, and you know it. It is about consistency or rather the lack thereof. We all have a tendency to talk one thing, but act another if it comes to matters such as Malcolm describes.

  18. Observer says:

    Malcolm: “And regarding Coal? Don’t get me started. The largest public sector pension plan in Canada is the Ontario Teachers Plan and it’s no surprise where it is heavily invested in.”
    If you can’t kill the devil, then ride on his back :-) …And you will never kill that devil until the stuff is all gone…way, way into the future. Or maybe it should be oil or gas? Frackin’ right!

    • TJay says:

      Dear so-called ‘Observer’…If you want to shiver in your hovel, that is your chosen path….don’t expect the rest of Squishites to cower to your chosen environmental neopaganism….
      Pardon me, I have to run whilst I cook supper over the evil natural gas in my properly heated and cooled home……….

  19. Jean says:

    Tjay, Just make sure when the big BANG happens when one of your beloved LNG Tanker explodes and sucks the air out of our tow Squamish, that you have your widow closed when you cook with your beloved Gas, if you can still afford it by the time the LNG Tankers are sailing elsewhere for a few years and driving the Spot price of Gas, up from the now about 4$ /Giga Jewel to anticipated 13 $ as the Russians just signed up China on a contract, until the Chinese that have the double reserve of Canada, have developed there infrastructure, beside the Thorium and other technologies perfected and we will be holding the Bag and you paying for a short time 4X as much to cook your meal.
    .PS. it won,t be natural gas you soon will be burning anyway, if they go ahead, it will be Un-Natural-Methane now locked into the earth and when released it will take the lovely Chemicals along, that they are pumping now unrestricted and secretly without disclosing ( could be your old cars battery acid , for all we know) into the ground at 9,000 PSI and then as it escapes even before you cook with it, it will also have polluted all the various aquifers on it,s travels through to you, additionally to what the Gas big boys are capturing for sale and export mainly now.

  20. Adam says:

    It seems to me that the Woodfibre PR strategy is to hype the jobs benefit in an effort to lull us into complacency. I respectfully suggest that if you’re working at McDonalds right now, you probably won’t find yourself making $75K + at Woodfibre in the near future. That said, there is more opportunity than ever before to build you own career in any number of industries.

    Brad tells a sob story about a family that couldn’t afford to feed their child a fruit cup and has indicated that this one of the main reasons he supports LNG. He’s also implied that by supporting LNG that we will rescue this and every other similar family from their woes. Label me skeptical.

    So here’s the deal. If we’re so worried about our neighbours lack of employment that we would sell out our health and our environment to help them pay the bills, I want to help. I work in tech. I will help any Squamish resident learn the skills needed to build their own business in technology. I will show you how to obtain the skills cheaply and will personally coach you through the education process and will assist with getting a business up and running. So if your cupboard is bare, reply to this post with your e-mail and I’ll get in touch and help you out. There are so many sustainable options to keep everyone working – just because we once relied on industry does not mean that we’re forever committed to that path. It’s time to quit making excuses and evolve.

    • Adam says:

      ….and to clarify, when I say industry, I’m referring to heavy industry that relies on the extraction of non-renewable resources that are having a scientifically proven impact on our ability to exist. I think Squamish has a very bright future in forestry, fishing, tech, recreation/tourism, education and R&D for renewables.

    • Jean says:

      Hi Adam, I am of the same mindset but not able to say it as elegantly as you just did. I wonder if you had so far any takers of your offer, or is everybody just waiting for some magical figure and solution that would solve there lack of “Chutzpah”…( as meaning the amount of courage, mettle or ardor that an individual has) and rather are dreaming that LNG would be there Savior. If you have excess of inquirers to your offer, please copy me, I too would love to help. LNG is an illusion by some very miss guided people some politicians on the take and fired up by some scruples companies on the take, to maximize a momentary hipped up Craze, regardless of who is going to get hurt and who is going to clean up the mess after they have failed …and they will.

    • Jean says:

      Hi Adam, I am of the same mindset but not able to say it as elegantly as you just did. I wonder if you had so far any takers of your offer, or is everybody just waiting for some magical figure and solution that would solve there lack of “Chutzpah”…( as meaning the amount of courage, mettle or ardor that an individual has) and rather are dreaming that LNG would be there Savior. If you have excess of inquirers to your offer, please copy me, I too would love to help. LNG is an illusion by some very miss guided people some politicians on the take and fired up by some scruples companies on the take, to maximize a momentary hipped up Craze, regardless of who is going to get hurt and who is going to clean up the mess after they have failed …and they will

  21. Tatiana Kostiak says:

    Now THAT’s vision Adam! You have my admiration for the view you expressed and the ‘deal’ you are offering. We’ve likely never met but I am proud to have you as my Squamish neighbour.

  22. Observer says:

    Very well said Adam!

  23. Adam says:

    Not one inquiry? If the situation is so dire in Squamish and people so hard up for money and work, I’m not seeing it. You’d think someone might be interested in at least talking if a $0.25 fruit cup wasn’t an option for their child. Offer stands.

    PS – Jean, I’ll happily loop you in on this project to lift people up if the demand is there.