Tuesday’s council meeting: A Grumpy Mayor, a Combative Councillor and an Anti-LNG protest

LNG

My Sea to Sky co-founder, Tracey Saxby, addresses the anti-LNG protestors gathered outside the Squamish municpal hall on Tuesday, July 15.
Photo: Anne Bright

By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: July 19, 2014

The geniality of our mayor is at times inversely proportional to the number of people present in the council chamber.

The more people fill up the chamber to protest something, less affable the Mayor tends to get.

“We ask that you gauge public opinion in an open, fair and inclusive process.” Renee Kranz

The carnivalesque protest met the humourless state once again in the Squamish council chamber on Tuesday, July 15.

With only 27 people allowed in the chamber due to fire code restrictions, anti-LNG protesters filled the lobby while activists spoke about their concerns.

“I feel that Woodfibre LNG is the wrong direction for our beautiful town and our beautiful province” said Renee Kranz, the co-founder of My Sea to Sky.

“We ask that you gauge public opinion in an open, fair and inclusive process.”

Tracey Saxby, the most visible face of anti-LNG protest, said the general public feels it has been kept in the dark as meetings between the proponents, the province and the district are happening behind closed doors.

She said the public process on environmentalists review has become a sham.

“Instead of being able to comment on the draft AIR which is standard procedure, the general public has access to a less detailed document. Meanwhile the district staff is responding to the proponent’s draft AIR as part of the working group, however this is not available to the public.”

She asked that council should make makes DOS response to the draft AIR public.

Sean Lumb, another anti-LNG, said, the tax agreement for LNG is capped at $2 million dollars and increasing it to 2.5 per cent.

“Why is this rate so low, it’s what Woodfibre paid in 2005 at the close of its operation and it’s nearly 10 years,” he said.

Lumb asked that council demand an economic impact study be also included by the proponent.

“We demand that district not finalize any negotiations with the municipal tax rate until the full scope of the proposal is known,” he said.

Heintzman grills staff

Coun. Patricia Heintzman was in a mood to ask tough questions and extract information, but there was little coming from CAO Corien Speaker.

Heintzman: ‘There was a request that we make public the draft AIR district responses, is that possible?’

Speaker: ‘I can’t provide a response to that at this moment, I will have to look into it.’

Heintzman: I will have to look into it because there is…

Speaker: ‘I don’t have enough information to respond’

Heintzman: Is the committee looking at how this might affect our carbon emission goals? Is the committee looking at those?

Speaker: ‘I can’t say…’

Heintzman said besides tax revenue, there is very little upside to the LNG project.

“I think what the community is really craving on all sides of the debate, they crave a public forum to be able to communicate these things with us, with themselves, get more information,” she said.

She said the LNG issue could be something that can be considered as a referendum question.

“In the coming elections, it would be a non-binding, but just like the Enbridge pipeline question, it would at least gauge public opinion.”

Comments

  1. Linda Firbank says:

    I think Squamish citizens should be allowed a vote on the LNG issue. Kitmat held a vote on the Pipeline which had surprising results. We may believe that we really will have no impact on the impending decision but at least there will be a record of our collective opinion. This vote could be part of the next Municipal Election. I would ask the major and counsellors to consider this possibility.

    • Jon S. says:

      Thank you Linda for your well reasoned comment – it’s clear why you won the Premier’s Award for Teaching Excellence. I completely agree there should be a vote so the true majority can finally have a voice and get some shovels in the ground on this project!

    • TJay says:

      Linda… most definitely, and after all is said and done, majority rules in a democratic society. Then all naysayers whomever they are, can go back to their corners and come up with an inventively new cause to weep and wail about…

      • dave cooledge says:

        Majority rules, what planet are you from, ever heard of individual rights and freedoms , majority , bunk

  2. Glenne C says:

    Thank you Gagandeep for this objective , realistic report of what happened on Tuesday night.
    Patty Heintzman spoke exceptionally well on behalf of the people who elected her.
    The information put forth about the DOS staff committee who are investigating LNG
    left people out in the cold. The committee has a been asked to research economics, environment and technical issues. They have not been asked to include COMMUNITY.
    So it only make sense that a referendum be held. People, Place Profit – in that order please.

    • Gary says:

      And what if the people who support the LNG end up winning in the referendum. Will you then stop your NIMBYism, and haven’t you had enough of that with the Rivendale project.

      • Adam says:

        Hey Gary. What part of someone wanting to have a say in their community is so offensive to you? For the record, if being concerned about the air my kids breath and the current economic activity that’s growing here make part of the NIMBY crowd, then count me in. I’ve seen what oil and gas does and yeah, I don’t want that in my backyard. To be honest, I’m a little blown away that anyone would. Squamish could be something great with a little bit of vision and foresight. DOn’t sell yourself or this town short.

        • MKnight says:

          and yet you use a computer, live in a house, use our roads, probably have a phone, use the odd plastic thing, etc. get off your high horse adam. or stop using these things so that youre not contributing to a mess in someone elses backyard while hypocritically trying to rope off your own.

    • Adam says:

      Well said Glenne.

  3. Wolfgang W says:

    Councillor Heintzman has displayed both leadership and courage with her call for a public referendum on Woodfibre LNG.
    Leadership, by acknowledging that governing bodies should be servants to the community they have been given the privilege to administer, and to act as facilitators for the public will rather than as elected ‘masters’.
    Courage, by being first on Council to have publicly expressed her willingness to engage the community in this way. I have no doubt others will now follow suit.
    I think it would be fair to call it a 1:0 for Democracy in Squamish!

  4. Don Patrick says:

    Tourists are people that had or have good paying jobs and mostly have worked hard all their lives so they may spend it where they wish… no jobs no tourists. I just wonder how many tourist based businesses on the low end of the revenue scale actually pay taxes. ? Is that a good thing ? Getting very hard to think if anyone in Squamish can think outside of the box.

  5. Curious George says:

    For Mayor and Council to accept an item on the agenda as important as this , knowing that a large number of our citizens are interested and then holding this item in a room only legally fit for twenty or so people is NOT democracy and for the Mayor to have behaved in such a way as to be called “Grumpy” does underline something! Frankly I am appalled.

    • Adam says:

      Would seem as if our Mayor has an agenda of his own and I don’t think Squamish residents are part of the plan.

  6. Curious George says:

    What many people fail to realise it there are several angles to look at this LNG issue. There is the fear of environment problems from the shipping loading facility. There is the tax issue and its perceived benefits, or not, to this town. There is the perceived benefit to the Province financially, or not. There is the Fortis pipe-line…where it goes and where the pumping stations go…..The LNG loading firm could not care less where the pipe goes before it gets to Woodfibre or where the pumping stations are.. And there is the Fracking issue…. but people do not realise that the natural gas that we are getting now in town has a lot of gas produced by Fracking?….It all depends on the gas brokers. Many of the protesters do not separate these issues in their mind before they protest. Many should focus on the individual issues and decide whether to lump them all together or concentrate on specifics. I hazard that there are many who are mostly against Fracking, many who fear an environmental accident, many who do not think LNG an economical benefit, many who do not want it from an aesthetic viewpoint etc. And many who would not lump all these together if they thought about it.

    • Wolfgang W says:

      True, but whatever the variety of reasons for or against Woodfibre LNG may be, they all crystallize eventually to a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and that is the purpose of this referendum.

  7. Ralph Fulber says:

    Fracking might no constitute ECOCIDE. Perhaps very little ground water will be effected. Or, as with the tar sands, we need to generate some form of ‘income and understand that comes at a cost. Fossil fuels and climate change? Perhaps the link is overstated. My concern is what if we are wrong? What if all hose countries placing moratoriums on fracking turn out to be right? Which side of that decision to you want to be on when your grandchildren ask you WHY? When the headwaters of the most productive wild salmon runs collapse, why. When orcas, whales and dolphins no longer return to Howe Sound, why? Were there no viable economic alternatives? Why?

  8. Brad says:

    So on the strength of a Yes or No vote in which barely a majority of registered voters participate, we should upend our own zoning laws, attempt to veto the economic perogatives, right or wrong, of a duly elected majority government, and basically tell investors worldwide that our zoning means what it says unless your business happens to fall on a long list of causes celebres. Oh, and annoy said province, which could simply erase our boundaries around Woodfibre. Ever seen the column for municipalities in the Constitutional division of powers? Oh yeah.. there isn’t one. Now we get x percent of nothing, and we still get everything else, and no industrial investor with a brain in their head risks capital on Squamish. Democracy does not mean getting a vote on every last issue. We live in a representative democracy with senior levels of government for a reason. I am not saying ‘love LNG’. I am just saying take a moment to consider the law of unintended consequences.

    • Wolfgang W says:

      You being a declared supporter of the project surprise me with the defeatist tone in your comment, as if a ‘No’ was going to be a foregone conclusion. You lament at length about all the dreadful consequences which could befall Squamish as a result of a ‘No’ vote by ‘barely a majority of registered voters participating’. Now why would the alleged multitude of unconditional supporters let that happen?

      On ‘annoying said province’: Surely you don’t mean to say that risk of punishment should be motivation for deference to ‘our betters’ in a modern democratic society? I would have thought this idea went out with the ‘Ancien Regime’.

      I concede that ‘democracy does not mean getting a vote on every last issue’ – our elected representatives and civil servants are there to deal with normal policy and administrative matters, but on paradigm defining issues such as in this case Woodfibre LNG? – Of course the public should have a say! And just as much as you think there will be low voter interest, I believe just the opposite. The only ‘risk’ that I could see, is that neither side will achieve a convincing enough majority, but is that a good enough reason to deny the community a vote?

      In closing I would like to remind you that the world knows incredibly successful and wealthy places where voter participation in major decisions is far more frequent than just every few years at ‘election time’. I haven’t heard of any investors avoiding them.

      • Brad says:

        Thanks for your comments Wolfgang, I completely respect your point of view. To be clear, I do support the plant. My support for it is multifaceted and not based solely on the merits of the plant itself, but also the bigger picture. But I am against a referendum. Here are my reasons:

        1) Rule of law: At the center of this is a piece of private property. The current owner bought it with the understanding it was zoned correctly. The only process they were required to go through was provincial EA. In fact, with a change in tanker configuration this project could have been built already without one. If we allow the precedent of a referendum on a project like this to happen, we send a message that zoning is effectively meaningless — as long as there is potentially a group of determined opponents to what you’re doing (and there always is, to everything), you can’t be reasonably sure that what you’re buying can be used as intended. Safer not to invest in the first place.

        2) We had a vote already. I understand your point about voting every three years, but the election was just over a year ago. And it wasn’t as if the BC Liberals weren’t clear about their LNG plans. They’ve earned a mandate, and they deserve the opportunity to attempt follow through on their vision before being second guessed. Our proximity to Howe Sound entitles us to a voice, but not a veto. Howe Sound belongs to the entire province, not just those proximate to it.

        3) Opponents won’t respect the result. Trust me, I would love to test the pro-camp’s strength on this project. But I believe support in the anti-LNG camp for a referendum stems only from a sincere belief that they will win it. In the event they don’t, I don’t believe they will respect the result. I can’t see folks with such an investment in defeating this thing laying down arms if 51% of us vote in favor of the plant. They will find some way to split hairs, claim the result was too narrow, illegitimate or wrongly influenced, etc. After all, they aren’t respecting the provincial vote, why respect the local one? Thus nothing is solved, but the collateral damage I’ve mentioned above happens anyway.

        4) The Province can simply change our boundaries. This isn’t worst case for me, we still get some local jobs and investment spinoff, but now we’re not getting any taxes. Makes no sense. I’m not accusing the province of anything nefarious or being defeatist here. But the reality is this — this is a very small LNG project. If the province can’t get this through, on a piece of former industrial land, then their whole LNG project is effectively out the window. I believe for that reason if the economics work, they will push to get it done, and the only thing we can succeed in doing is cutting off our own noses to spite our face. I want those tax revenues. I’m not prepared to risk that by sending mixed messages to Victoria. This isn’t deference to our ‘betters’, this is deference to the will of the provincial electorate.

        I’m not sure I agree with you on the benefits of more direct democracy. Majorities are not always right. California is partly in the mess it’s in because a majority has voted itself benefitis (like reduced class sizes) while also voting to refuse to pay for it (via taxes). Voters are a conflicted and disparate bunch. Even the founders of the United States did not want an Athenian-style democracy. At some point we have to defer to our elected reps and trust them to do the right thing. Otherwise what we have is chaos.

        • Wolfgang W says:

          Thanks for elaborating, Brad.
          There is too much fear of the vox populi in representative democracies! Is your criticism coming from a view that its electorates are not ‘mature’ enough to express it other than by voting every few years for supposedly more ‘enlightened’ representatives?
          Let’s look at a better example than California, – the municipalities, the cantons of and the whole of the Swiss Confederation. It’s style of direct democracy and its discipline as to governance – albeit I freely admit it has its warts too -, is even touted as some sort of a blueprint for a reformed European Union. Here is the link to the relevant article in The Economist:
          http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21607853-some-swiss-lessons-euro-zone-hail-helvetia

          • Brad Hodge says:

            Thanks Wolfgang.

            I think my position on the referendum for this specific issue is simply ‘Hey, we had a provincial election yesterday (relatively), and the LNG guys won, let’s give them a chance’. Everyone’s assailing the EA process as though it’s a done deal – it isn’t, it’s just getting going. If the government were late in its term or hadn’t raised LNG as an issue, I’d feel a bit differently. I don’t think people aren’t ‘mature’, I think human beings generally want to have their cake and eat it too, and direct democracy allows them to indulge that. You could easily see a voter simultaneously voting for a new iphone but then voting against mining in their own backyard to gather the materials to build it. Either way, I think we are into dangerous territory when any group with a grudge can potentially derail a private landowner’s legally permitted use of their land.

          • Wolfgang W says:

            It is always a worry when there is danger of private ownership being tampered with, I agree with you on that, Brad. Nonetheless, I don’t think it boils down simply to ‘preventing a landowner’s legally permitted use’ of property here. We all know that regardless of zoning, landowners face all sorts of obligations and restrictions in what they are permitted to do, so ‘permitted use’ has its limitations anyway.

            As the commentator who calls himself ‘Curious George’ pointed out here in his enumeration of reasons people may have to object to this project, it is more the specific type and purpose of land-use on which the opposition is focused. Within this context, and bringing up another post of our mysterious and ‘Curious George’ in this thread, let me ask you a hypothetical question’: Would you be comfortable if, instead of a LNG plant, one of those new nuclear breeder reactors would be going in there? Perhaps you would, or perhaps you would feel for the opponents, I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that strong public opinion cannot simply be brushed aside and that is why I believe this proposed referendum is a good idea, provided – I hasten to say – that it is not based on each other’s hype, but on solid information made available by all parties for evaluation, so that voters are in a position to make an informed decision.

          • Brad says:

            I am not suggesting process should be thrown to the wind; obviously building something, even on private land, is subject to regulation. But that’s the thing — I trust the regulators to sort all of this out. The protesters are saying the regulatory process is a failure before it’s even had a chance to get going. With regulations, yes, there is always a risk your project might not happen. But regulations generally are codified in law and a prudent businessperson or individual can research them and anticipate potential pitfalls. Referendums carry the additional unpredictability of emotion and passion. Since we are cherry picking which projects we should have referendums on (we didn’t have one on the Gondola, for example), that adds another layer of unpredictability. Would you bet millions of dollars on land with that level of uncertainty? Probably not. And that is where referendums become harmful to the general public interest. We should have laws and regulations and elected representatives and trust each to do their job, not second guess them midstream with the passions of the day.

          • Wolfgang W says:

            We may disagree on a number of things, but I believe we both agree on the need for more trust. Your preference is to place your trust into the hands of elected representatives and regulators rather than the people, mine is to place more into the hands of latter, especially when the issue is an important one.

            I think it is only fair that I now also reveal the source of my comfort with referendums: I was born and raised in Switzerland and am therefore familiar with the system. As I said earlier, it is not perfect either, but has stood the test of time.

            This has been a good discussion, Brad, and thanks to Gagandeep who made it possible through the Squamish Reporter.

    • Adam says:

      Holy hell Brad. Did you read this before you posted? LNG was not at any time an election issue in Squamish. To suggest that Council has a mandate to drive this project forward is ludicrous. This is about as divisive an issue as we will ever face – if ever there was a time to go to the electorate this would be it.

      Further, referring to this as a ‘passion of the day’ is also about as disingenuous a comment as one could make. This is not passing and the impacts of these decisions are long lasting and will impact many future generations. This warrants serious debate and open dialogue. Not the closed door, Father knows best approach to governance you suggest.

      • Brad Hodge says:

        Hi Adam.

        “LNG was not at any time an election issue in Squamish.”

        Actually it was. May 14, 2013 to be precise. The two biggest vote getters in Squamish were parties promoting LNG development. The winner of that election provincially was explicitly in favour on this subject. You may have a differing opinion, but you lost.

        “Further, referring to this as a ‘passion of the day’ is also about as disingenuous a comment as one could make. This is not passing and the impacts of these decisions are long lasting and will impact many future generations.”

        Heard it all before. On IPPs, on highways (remember Eagleridge Bluffs?), ski resorts etc. Strangely the world did not end with those projects coming to fruition. There are always principled (and unprincipled) opponents to everything, but that doesn’t mean they should be able to rejig the rules or veto the results of an election held just over a year ago. Debate is fine. Subjecting a private landowner who is playing by the rules of the game to a pop-up referendum no other business has been subjected to is wrong.

  9. Curious George says:

    Yes there is.. Nuclear…Do the research you will find that it will be our only solution, like it or not. The modern breeder reactors are getting better, more efficient and safer. Heresy? Wait and see!

  10. MKnight says:

    “We have zero industrial taxation base and zero industrial jobs,” says Patricia Heintzman, the acting mayor of Squamish.

    “With LNG there’s going to be a lot of training and different parts…and we’re hoping we’ll get some of that.”

    So now councillor Heintzman wants to have a referendum? She already said in a previous interview that the municipal part in this was done.. the zoning was in place. Now she wants to throw that overboard and subject a landowner who has been following the rules to mob rule instead. What good will that do? Seems like Heintzman is on whichever side of an issue saves her political bacon. she was against drive through restaurants until a couple dozen people packed council chambers against a ban. A year ago she told us tax rises were inevitable, then when the budget was safely going to pass, took a last minute stand and voted against tax increases to burnish her non existent record as a fiscal conservative. now it looks like shes preparing to nail No to LNG to her masthead, if the referendum goes against. if it doesnt, im sure we’ll hear how she was for it all along with cheery references to job opportunities as above. At times she tries to play the outsider card, even though shes been there 9 years. i do hope she is running again, i cannot wait to put my checkmark beside someone else. ive lived in this community a long time and i know a political careerist when i see one. Queen Corinne II needs to go!

    • Wolfgang W says:

      Would you call the result of a referendum ‘mob rule’ even in the event supporters prevailed or would you celebrate that as ‘the sound judgment of the majority?

      • MKnight says:

        i call it mob rule because thats what it is. we have zoning and regulations. if you spend $x million to buy a property and you follow the regs and you have the zoning, that should be it. You shouldnt be subjected to a vote that cirvumvents your legal rights anf applies a different standard than the guy who built the gondola across the street. either we have referendums for every major business (and dispense with regs) or we follow the law. anything in between is mob rule aka chaos, and only an idiot would invest in those circumstances. and that hurts people in need of work. its the inconsistency and selectivity that sucks. im tired of these yuppie hipsters who think we can feed the world on backyard gardening using techniques we threw away 50 years ago whining about the unfairness of minimum wage jobs while protesting every plausible investment that might provide something better. enough. if you moved here to be free of industry you moved to the wrong darned town. nobody asked you to show up here and force your beliefs on everyone else. go to lytton if you want to grow youre own grapes and be free of industry.

        • Wolfgang W says:

          Well MKnight, so ‘mob rule’ it is for you. At least you are consistent. but that in itself does not prove you right. No point in restarting the discussion Brad and I had on the subject in this thread, but I suggest you actually study the concept of referendums, you just might revise your terminology on them afterwards.

    • Gary says:

      You nailed it, MKnight. Examples abound of Heintzman’s political populism. All you need is a room full of people to change her mind. It’s called political opportunism, but Heintzman would probably call it democracy.

  11. larry mclennan says:

    Yes MKNIGHT you pretty much nailed Heintzman’s methodology/personna on the head (plus a couple of others you didn’t name)but with respect to the LNG project . I’ve asked a few people what their view was. Interestingly, the majority response was basically apathy. The majority didn’t seem to care (only about a dozen were queried) but statistically , I wouldn’t be surprised if that (apathy) was the overwhelming attitude for the community. I personally support the project but it was interesting to test the waters to see what others think. Unfortunately , scare mongers probably have the advantage if a referendum were to be held as, in my opinion , the ‘ chicken little” mass hysteria tends to be easier to align one’s passion with if a quick and uninformed decision is to made (better safe than sorry- especially those nuclear bombs going off and the industrial age being a thing of the past. We don’t want none of them thar luddites moving to this town !)

    • MKnight says:

      id love to see what percentage of us still believe in diverse economy versus bedroom community. i wouldnt be surprised if the no to everything crowd has passed the tipping point on numbers, but im not sure theyre their yet. certainly their intimidation tactics are working to the extent thae a lot of our council dont jave the stones (like heintzman) to stand up and say what they really feel. if weve become a nimby town thats fine, i can move. but i hope if it does come to a referndum, which i still think is wrong, that in the privcay of the ballot booth the silently in favor will come out and whup these people good. but you know it wont end there if no to everyrhing loses. theyll just say harper stuffed the ballot boxes or something like that. i think this plant is going thru and if it causes the no to everything ppl to move maybe they could be magnanmous and provide them free luggage or uhauls.

  12. Melissa says:

    My concern is that there are still many people who still have no idea that Woodfibre is even a thing. I was at the grocery store and asked if the cashier (an adult) knew about the project and she said, “What? I have never heard of that” Too often people respond with unawareness. How can we ask people to vote when many are still not even paying attention. The council hasn’t done a good job at objectively informing people of this project. Its sad that so many choose not to engage with the future of their community.

  13. Jean says:

    Why even expect anything from the council… there mandate is running out. The only thing we can and should demand, that any of the councillor and mayoral candidates not having a position made public before the deadline of the EA submission on July 26th, should be considered not to be running in next Novembers election and keep them accountable to that, by the public not electing any of them. W-LNG is getting tough with the people, by turning the light off unannounced, lets get tough with those we had elected to do the business for us. The average LNG opponent had less then a few month to get educated, one should think the council members much more, should be by now having a position and not hide behind the standard … “We will look into it, we don,t have enough information”. It doe not need much to get educated about the basic facts and if the points don,t chive, who needs to look any further into details, especially as with a process that is designed to wear down the public, then preparing a document to be rubber stamped by the government, because they already have made up there mind, that it will happen, objections or not. Maybe they should start considering wedder we ( aka DOS, could charge FortisBC with a land use tax bringing through populated area a potential 24 inch Highly explosive Methane Gas line compressed beyond previous agreed pressures and passing by, or under populated residential and public spaces, to close for comfort and in violation to, as requested by hazard management guide lines and then not giving exact information, to the public asking, to those that know how to massage information out of the ether, can extract anyway and find out, knowing that again Fortis is not pleased to, an open and accurate information exchange with the public. As with regards to automated Gas line shutoff system, not willing to guarantee the technical know how to implement, even so one would forgive them, if they had put in there old system long time ago, when the regulations wear lax and not mandated at that time, what is now available, with a promise, that it would be adhered to, in new future construction and upgrading the old, as soon as possible, on any existing gas line throughout the corridor and even over the minimum requirements, providing a system that would alarm Public, Fire hall and DOS, should a shutoff-valve, detecting a pressure change and with it, automatically without any assist of any operator, shut down the flow of gas, until determining the cause of such a pressure fluctuation. One almost wonders wedder Fortis BC is also already controlled by the Indonesian company proposing W-LNG, that is said to have such a bad tax and environmental record and what does that say about our Premier, doing business with them.
    For those that are keeping on tooting the horn that LNG would bring jobs and pay a fair tax revenue…Do you know of any welder or plumber or millwrights or car technician or other thought after professionals that are Jobless. Do those do gooders emphasizing the job creation benefits by inviting the Chemical Industry into our pristine area, with all there buddies afterwards being invited to help them to get rid oft here waist stuff etc and make the toxic brew, to pump into the Fracking wells, where nobody knows what that third component that they inject (maybe your old car battery asset or just the stuff removed from the Gas, that is preventing it to be cooled and shipped as LNG …so lets invite some real industries into this town by subsidies like the American and many other countries doe.
    As to a democratic right to govern .. is 4 % more, a licence to over rule the rest, given when a government is hell bend to continue on a suicidal path, if the so called uneducated public can see it. I call it arrogance and that’s why Mr Campbell with the help of his HST buddy in Ottawa, is doomed to drink Tea with the Queen for his retirement.

  14. Newcomer says:

    MKnight: If you would love to see a percentage count of what people believe, why are you against a referendum which will tell Council what people feel about the LNG plant. The vote would NOT be binding and would just help Council make their decision and allow them to ask better question Who knows it might go in YOUR favour!!! BS to “mob rule”. You just want YOUR way! If Council decides to run it then they are exercising Democracy…something which seems to go against YOUR viewpoint…Too bad! And don’t be fooled by “newcomer”, I have been here for 44 years and love Squamish. I am for sensible Industry; and Tourism, which is also an Industry too.

    • MKnight says:

      you are missing the point, son. we have zoning and private property for a reason. we dont get to walk around them because we dont like the result. this landowner bought this property, it is zoned industrial and that is that. those were heintzmans own words before she figured out it might cost her votes. they are followong the rules. i dont want a referndum no matter which way it goes because it sends a message that if youre buying land for investment here, youd better check to make sure your business isnt on the urban hipster leagues hit list (it probably is). we had a provincial vote, we endorsed lng and thats that. if you cant respect that bit of democracy dont lecture me on the rest.

  15. Adam says:

    or perhaps Councilor Heintzman has been reading the science and has come to the conclusion that this project would be considered madness by any sane person.

    • MKnight says:

      or perhaps heintzman is an career pol who never met a voter she couldnt fog with fancy words and an issue she couldnt be on both sides of.

      • tj says:

        Yep, she is a politician after all….she isn’t the Pope.
        Any one want the Pope, go to the Vatican…

        • MKnight says:

          no this is more then that. This is about having no principals. i dislike chapelles policy stances lots, but at least she knows what she is about and doesnt back off the minute she gets wind of opposition. She is consistent in what she believes. heintzman doesnt seem to adhere to anything. where was her committment to the community having a say when (along with prior and the redt of that wrecking crew) they were helping themselves twice to pay raises? why didnt the neighborhood get a vote on the skate park a lot of them didnt want? bet your boots if they get elected again they will be helping themselves more. i read in the other article mr. raiser wants $33k a year for the two hard days a week he puts in. Wow i wonder why we have to cut hours at the spca?

  16. larry mclennan says:

    Council is elected to make decisions on behalf of the community. Unfortunately some of this council (& some others in the past) are seemingly incapable of making any difficult ones (especially in an election year) so they bring out the referendum option (without a care for the costs) such that they can just blame the result of the referendum on their ultimate decision and, hopefully not lose votes. Well, guess what ? Council is supposed to make tough decisions- that’s what they get paid for. Heintzman ,et al, should resign if they feel unqualified to do their job and make a decision. We need politicians with backbones not jellyfish.

  17. Observer says:

    Larry: ….”without a care for the costs”….The referendum cost is negligible. It will/should be part of the regular ballot…You know that!
    It is NOT binding and would be just an information device which can be “round binned” or not. So??? Let those that want it have it….It could go either way…even YOUR way!

  18. larry mclennan says:

    Re: Costs- My understanding is that the referendum proposal would be separate from the general election- in other words -could be costly. Your narrative states that the cost would be negligable even though you apparently are unaware of whether the referendum would be separate from the general election or not. So I do not know that the referendum cost would be negligible and apparently -neither do you. As stated above by yourself , the referendum is just an information device , can be thrown out , ignored and , given these options, seems to be a waste of money if it is costly.

  19. Observer says:

    Larry: What would you do if it WAS decided to have a referendum. Would you put the simple…”Yes/No” question on the September ballot along with the prospective Council/School board members, or would you do it separately?…..A good test of how sensible or otherwise you might be if you were in charge. Yes, I do not know ,but I can guess that they would want to save money and catch as many voters as possible! It has been stated that it would not be binding and would be for information only.
    I agree that if it were separate, it would be a waste of money.

  20. larry mclennan says:

    Observer ,I’m not certain what September ballot you’ll be voting on -you might be the only voter. According to the Elections BC website , Municipal elections (and school board) are currently scheduled for the third Saturday in November but,depending on an amendment, might be moved up to the third Saturday on October. We’ll just chalk that up to an error ,not ignorance , on your part. Continuing on, are you aware that there already exists (unless it has been dissolved) a select committee whose mandate it is to investigate the LNG project and report back to Council and administration with their findings? Presumably ,this committee would , or does , have the time and access to verifiable resources to prepare a reasoned and informative submission to Council, et al. If I were “in charge” thats the sort of information I would use as a basis for my decision making. Unfortunately, all too often , referendums entail emotional , and often erronious , fear mongering rhetoric which skews the the results in a manner which can result in a negative effect on the community. Refer to that Eoin Finn article in the June 2014 Reporter if you want some examples of the type of rhetoric I refer to.

    • Wolfgang W says:

      I am not attempting to restart my earlier discussion I had with Brad in this thread about the pros and cons of referendums. You are of course right, Larry, that the rhetoric around referendums can become quite emotional and is sometimes reflected in the ensuing results, but is that any different from what happens in a hotly contested election?
      Yours and my professional background are in a field which generally eschews emotion and conditions us to be more wary of it. Let’s not forget, however, that there is not just a ‘downside’ to emotion as your comment implies: From emotions spring also compassion, the appreciation of beauty – love. It is as much part of the human condition as is reason, and only the two combined make us truly human.
      Yes, by all means, let’s listen to what the select committee’s findings are, but remember: They have been selected to guide, not to decide.

  21. Observer says:

    Larry, sorry about the “error” which you, characteristically and pompously, pointed out.
    I should have said “Fall”.
    The votes in a referendum which you apparently would not trust are really similar to the votes which give mandate to our future Council members in a municipal election. I trust neither most of the time …so what is your point? I also do not particularly trust the make-up of the Committee to which you refer; I believe it to but unfairly weighted….So where do we go from here?
    I think when one supports an opinion it is called an “opinion” when you don’t it is called “rhetoric”!

  22. larry mclennan says:

    Observer- I’m “pompous” for pointing out your error?? Touchy!!! What do you do when you make a mistake and can’t cast aspersions on someone else- chew on a rug? Anyway, on to the question of semantics ie “opinion’ verses “rhetoric”. Both these terms have a few definitions. My Funk and Wagnalls has “Opinion” -1 of 5 definitions- as “a conclusion or judgement held with confidence but falling short of positive knowledge” whereas “rhetoric’ -1 of 7 definitions- as “oratory or declamation , including persuasive speech’. In my opinion, Mr. Finn’s presentations fall much more in the “persuasive” category ,indeed, I would classify it more as fear mongering rhetoric than as ‘opinion”. In addition, you might want to read an article in the Vancouver Observer (July 30 edition) where Mr. Finn is quoted as declaring that The LNG project threatens to turn Howe Sound into a “marine desert”. He goes on to declare other highly inaccurate scenarios with regard to water temperatures and chlorination. You may call it opinion but I’ll refer to it as fear mongering rhetoric. Of course, that’s just my “opinion”. Ironically, West Van Council , passed a motion to oppose the LNG plant without ever hearing from Woodfibre LNG and Squamish Council won’t pass a motion (pro or con ) after hearing both sides and having a select committee on the proposal. What a world!

  23. Gian M says:

    Get it going now. Or once again we will be begging in the streets from penny pinching visiters who use and abuse our town