LNG Direct Action: Law Cannot Bow to Personal Beliefs

bradhBy Brad Hodge
Published: April 28, 2016
 
 
WE ARE in the home stretch. Woodfibre LNG’s long regulatory process is winding down, and supporters are breathing a sigh of relief the new Liberal government in Ottawa chose not to scupper it. Of course, opponents are not giving up, and recently we have heard talk from groups like My Sea to Sky about something called ‘direct action’.  The term is a bit vague, but in protest circles it essentially means doing whatever it takes to obstruct the person, group or thing you oppose from being able to act. It could involve something as simple as forming a human chain to block office building doors, or something more extreme like damaging or destroying property. I haven’t really been following LNG or MSTS lately, but a quick read through some of their postings suggests, mainly, non-violent intent. That’s good as far as that goes, but the idea that that extends into a right to actively obstruct Woodfibre LNG from constructing their plant is not. 
It sure seems like the rule of law is under attack in the West. From social media lynch mobs to boycotts and, yes, direct action, we seem to be moving to a Hollywood/Disney version of morality. The premise: 1) If I believe I’m right about something, in fact, I am. 2) If someone else disagrees they are wrong. 3) My being right entitles me to do whatever I want to get my desired outcome, regardless of the impact on others.
You’ve seen it on police procedurals, like NCIS: Leroy Gibbs, breaking the rules for interrogation, hacking the CIA, etcetera. And we don’t object to that—after all, we know Gibbs will (eventually) get it right. He always does. The problem is, that’s a TV show. As viewers, we know in the end Gibbs and his team will be correct. Not so in real life—one person’s facts are another person’s opinions. This is why we opted for the rule of law—so that opposing viewpoints could be sorted out, without violence. Regulators weigh the public interest against the legal rights of a proponent and try to decide a project’s fate on its merits. As citizens of law-abiding countries, we agree to accept the system’s decisions, the alternative being chaos.
This isn’t to say ‘direct action’ isn’t ever justified. The law can be wrong, i.e. segregation. I’m sure in the minds of My Sea to Sky and environmental activists, LNG is every bit as unjust. I’m sure everyone has a law or decision made by government they strongly disagree with. Personally I hate seeing 30-40 per cent of my income disappearing in taxes every year.  Can I stop paying? The line is not perfectly clear, but I think most reasonable people would say only the most egregious offences by the state warrant willful disobedience of the law. A single LNG plant, bound by western laws and standards, cannot meet that test. Opponents of LNG probably legitimately believe we are headed towards an environmental Mordor if Woodfibre is allowed to open up. But then again, opponents of the highway project over Eagleridge Bluffs felt the same way. Does any reasonable person believe they were right, in hindsight?
Before the environmental movement was hijacked by the political left, it had a fairly honourable and distinguished history, sparking action on problems like acid rain and ozone depletion. Implacable opposition to everything and the failure to choose battles will wear out its welcome with the public (and activists themselves) eventually. I think ‘direct action’, after Woodfibre has followed the legal process and received approval, will only further the caricature of environmentalists as extremists. 
Opponents of LNG are of course entitled to follow their conscience and peacefully protest. But they cannot be allowed to short-circuit the proponent’s legal rights, and should be prosecuted if they do. If the law becomes subjective to everyone’s individual beliefs, we really will be living in Mordor.
 
Brad Hodge is a former Council candidate and local IT expert

Comments

  1. Matt B says:

    What an incredibly obtuse and disjointed opinion piece but it’s what we have come to expect from the LNG cheering section. I find it sad that for the promises of the few jobs (not taken by foreign workers under the BC govt LNG foreign worker program) and some municipal tax revenues, LNG proponents are happy to let foreign companies take our natural gas while we bear the environmental and social costs. Anyone who still believes that Canadians will benefit from LNG corporate tax revenues clearly does not understand how offshore companies can legally shift profits to low tax jurisdictions such as Singapore while paying no tax in high tax jurisdictions like Canada.

    Hodge decries efforts from what he calls “the environment movement hijacked by the political left,” which has become a tired constant commentary from the fossil fuel “right” like Hodge who believe they have somehow earned the privilege to extract gas through hydraulic fracturing and give it away for negligible natural gas royalties, no matter what the environmental or social cost to others and themselves.

    The fact that the current BC government has clearly demonstrated that it is more than willing to do their donors’ bidding as recently highlighted in the two major Canadian daily newspapers April 28-29 and listed below clearly show. And this support from both the government and fossil fuel cheerleaders has remained doggedly steadfast despite the fact that the LNG market has collapsed from a price of $20.30 per million BTUS in early 2014 to $4.50 due to a huge growth in supply which is well below the cost to extract, cool and ship the gas to market.

    If the fact that the BC government is one of a very short list of provinces that still allows the practice of paying premier’s for raising funds from political contributions is not a clear and blatant abuse of power, I don’t know what is. Clearly the rule of law to which Hodge refers has been hijacked by a system that allows corporate donors to have politicians do their bidding for a fee.

    So do citizens have the right to protest a decision when that decision clearly defies social license, would obliterate greenhouse gas emissions standards and subject them to significant health, safety and financial risks? Luckily as long as we live in a democratic system, such opposition is not only legal but is necessary until such time that a proper and impartial system with strict environmental laws (pre Harper and Clark governments) return.

    Christy Clark’s Private ‘Allowance’ from B.C. Liberals Is No Joke
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/christy-clarks-private-allowance-from-bc-liberals-is-no-joke/article29780527/
    B.C. premier’s $50,000 stipend from Liberal party puts her in conflict of interest involving party donors: MLA
    http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/b-c-premiers-50000-stipend-from-liberal-party-puts-her-in-conflict-of-interest-involving-party-donors-mla
    and
    Christy Clark’s salary being topped up by donations to BC Liberal Party
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/christy-clarks-salary-being-topped-up-by-donations-to-bc-liberal-party/article29767196/

  2. Wolfgang W says:

    Yes, ‘The Law’ cannot and should not bow to personal beliefs and whims, or – as you correctly state – all would end in chaos, ‘The Law’ then becoming nothing more than a toothless suggestion. But when ‘Personal Beliefs’ in this case represent the majority opinion – some stated – of the councils of all municipal bodies bordering on Howe Sound and most likely also of the majority of residents, wouldn’t this suggest that the ‘Personal Beliefs’ you cite are much more widespread than you like to believe, Brad? A public referendum around Howe Sound to clear the air, perhaps?
    Oh no – that would be tantamount to ‘mob rule’ to some, but relax: ‘Direct democracy’ it is called correctly, and it comes with good credentials – we should give it a try!

    • Brad Hodge says:

      Hi Wolfgang! Good to hear from you.

      I’m not sure we can support the notion that a majority is against resource or LNG projects based on council results. Remember councillors are elected via first past the post. The highest polling councillor got around 35% or so of the vote. Legitimate under our system, but hardly a sweeping mandate, and impossible to say for sure how much one issue influenced their victory. I could claim a pro-LNG majority by adding Rob Kirkham and Ron Bahm’s votes together (both were favourable to industry), but opponents would be correct to assert that I cannot prove every one of those voters supports LNG.

      A referendum in my opinion is beside the point. Locality is an extremely arbitrary thing. Any of us can move here or move out. The fact that I move to a place does not give me special entitlement over non-local voters. This is why major infrastructure is in the hands of the federal and provincial governments – narrow local self-interest must always be balanced by the greater good. Otherwise small groups could hold us all hostage. So no, even if a majority of us locally were against, I still wouldn’t agree that that necessarily overrides the provincial government’s mandate, nor would I ever accept someone using such as an excuse to damage or destroy another’s property, or impede them from carrying out their lawful activities. Protest is fine, of course. But there is a difference between protest and actively preventing someone from exercising their own legitimate rights.

      • Wolfgang W says:

        Well, the provincial government hardly obtained a sweeping mandate either based on the popular vote during the last election, but you would likely interpret many of the pro-NDP votes up and down the coast as necessarily pro-LNG as well and imagine that this could amount to solid popular support in the end. – Maybe so. A provincial referendum then? Oh, but wait, what about all other Canadian voters, after all, ‘narrow local self-interest (BC’s) must always be balanced by the greater good’. But why stop at Canada? Even at that level we are a tiny localized group in the greater geographic location of North America, let alone the world.
        Thank you for having presented a good old fashioned utilitarian argument about ‘the greater good’. The only problem: it works even better for your ideological foes.

        • Brad Hodge says:

          “Well, the provincial government hardly obtained a sweeping mandate either based on the popular vote during the last election”

          No but they obtained a mandate under the rules of the game, and they were pretty explicit about LNG (as were the NDP). By your logic, Squamish Council really has no authority to act on anything. Shall we let the Mayor know?

          “But why stop at Canada? Even at that level we are a tiny localized group in the greater geographic location of North America, let alone the world.”

          You are arguing philosophy. I am arguing what our Constitutional order prescribes. Canada is not a direct democracy, and our constitutional architecture does not permit local populations an absolute veto over events that happen to occur in their area. That’s just the way it is. We could revisit that, but in the interim we are obliged to respect the present order. The line may be arbitrary but you have to draw one somewhere.

          • Wolfgang W says:

            Must I remind you that referendums are not unknown to the British parliamentary system, and for that matter not even in BC? Who’s afraid of the ‘big bad’ vox populi other than those who do not trust the people or are too beholden to narrow interests?

            Forgive me if I find your stance on this issue utterly baffling. Not because you are a declared supporter of the project, but because you give the appearance that any subterfuge to advance the proponents' interests is fine, while waving away opponents as mostly irrelevant environmental 'lefties'. Worse – you seem to advocate the unquestioning acceptance of everything coming from 'on high', putting zero value on local opinion and concerns.

            Let's digest your arguments made in our dialogue so far:
            1) On Majorities:
            You downplay the voices from the Sound's municipal councils as not really being representative of their constituents due to the narrow base of the popular vote having elected them. Yet, further on you appear to have no such qualms about the provincial government which was elected with only 23% of registered voters. You seem to think that the former should thread carefully while the latter's is a solid and unquestionable mandate for anything they want to impose.
            2) Opposition to the Project:
            You opine that the no-LNG forces consist mostly of a relatively small and noisy group of 'environmental extremists'. Yet, every municipal government bordering on Howe Sound other than Squamish, which is known to be cool to the idea too, has voted against it on special resolutions to that effect. This is not about Rob Kirkham or Ron Bahm's utterances, but about expressions by elected municipal councils, and it can be assumed that their voting was made easier knowing that public support is behind them. In your book this does apparently not matter, it seems ok to run rough-shod over local sensibilities and wishes.
            3) The Greater Good:
            So I am philosophical, speaking of the 'Greater Good'? Philosophy, whether ethics in general or, within reason and restraint utilitarianism, should preferably govern ours and particularly governments' actions. Attempting to dodge this by citing constitutional constructs and constraints just won't do, never has in the history of mankind. So please, don't trivialize this concept by suggesting that by the logic of the 'Greater Good', our mayor should be rendered powerless in this matter. The 'Greater Good' takes increasingly planetary dimensions in our days, and so it should. Some governments and institutions begin to act accordingly, and if memory serves me, the federal Liberals even made this part of their election platform.

            Back to LNG and its dismal economics as unveiled over the recent past: Truth is, our proposed local project is rapidly morphing into the one small fig leaf to cover Christy Clark's and her government's all too apparent nakedness after the collapse of her grandiose dreams of a big BC LNG future and an overflowing 'BC Prosperity Fund'. Poor Pamela Goldsmith and her supporters – to see their hero in Ottawa now functioning as nothing more than the bridle holder to save Christie's honour…

            If this goes ahead, I don't believe it will be for the 'greater good' of the people of British Columbia, who will pay as dearly for it, and likely much more so, than for another failed pipe dream of the past – the BC Fast Ferries. Will the additional tax revenues expected to be earned by the District until a subsequent government does the sums, and the project's backers pull the plug, be worth it?

          • Brad Hodge says:

            Wolfgang:

            “Must I remind you that referendums are not unknown to the British parliamentary system, and for that matter not even in BC?”

            No, but they are not the norm either. If we are going to have a referendum on a (relatively) small LNG plant, then what really is off limits for referendum? How do you stop the whole thing from sliding into the disaster of Athenian democracy? Who gets to decide what is worthy of referendum or not? Why have elected reps if we’re going to decide everything controversial ourselves? What happens when only a sliver of the registered electorate wins a referendum (ie. HST)? How do we ensure they’re making an informed decision? I don’t think we’re in a better place there. That’s just my opinion.

            “You downplay the voices from the Sound’s municipal councils as not really being representative of their constituents due to the narrow base of the popular vote having elected them.”

            During the election while canvassing for support I cold called close to 600 people. I would have called more but simply ran out of time. I don’t have my notes but probably around 1/3 weren’t even interested. Of the rest, you had what is typical with free for all municipal politics – yes, some voted straight down the line ‘pro-industry’, or at least, who they *thought* were pro industry. Or anti. But I also had voters who supported me who were also supporting Peter Kent or Karen Elliot. How do you divine a pro or anti-lng vote for that? You can’t. Provincial politics is different. Vastly more people involved, clearly defined political parties and policies, far more concise messaging. I can’t vote for an NDPer here, a BC Liberal there and a Green elsewhere. So we *can* divine a bit more about mandate than we can with municipal.

            “You opine that the no-LNG forces consist mostly of a relatively small and noisy group of ‘environmental extremists’. Yet, every municipal government bordering on Howe Sound other than Squamish, which is known to be cool to the idea too, has voted against it on special resolutions to that effect”

            Again, back to my previous statements. How many people elected each councillor? What effect did LNG have? If there were a majority against LNG does that override the interests of the province as a whole? Etc. And again, it’s not about running roughshod. How many years and thousands of pages of submissions has it taken to get to this point? Stephen Harper was Prime Minister for 10 years and did not manage to get one pipeline built because of all the hurdles involved. You can’t complain that these things are being done ‘roughshod’.

            “So I am philosophical, speaking of the ‘Greater Good’? Philosophy, whether ethics in general or, within reason and restraint utilitarianism, should preferably govern ours and particularly governments’ actions.”

            Yes, but philosophy by its very nature is extremely subjective. We can’t govern ourselves by subjectivity. That is why we put it on paper (Constitution) and agree to abide by it (Rule of Law). We can tweak both, but not on the fly because suddenly we don’t like the result.

            “If this goes ahead, I don’t believe it will be for the ‘greater good’ of the people of British Columbia, who will pay as dearly for it, and likely much more so, than for another failed pipe dream of the past – the BC Fast Ferries.”

            And other people believed the Eagleridge Bluffs highway project would destroy the area, and it didn’t. Belief isn’t always correct. I believe at the end of the day five years after the plant is built nobody will notice or care about it. But I could be wrong too. Who knows?

          • Wolfgang W says:

            You don’t convince, Brad, but I decline to carry the discussion further in these pages. Not because there isn’t a lot more to be said, but because it appears now pretty much down to you and me here. Perhaps instead over a pint at one of our many good pubs? :)

  3. MattB says:

    Do you think it’s time we ended the practice allowing corporations to vie financially for political influence and “stipends” to politicians for raising money on top of their taxpayer paid salaries?
    Here’s your chance. Make your voice count by sending a message that this practice is not acceptable!
    http://banbigmoney.dogwoodbc.ca/

    Its no surprise that Woodfibre LNG donated $30,500 to the BC Liberals in 2015 with VP Byng Girard donating another $15,150 as well!
    Total corporate donations to the party totaled more than $5 million in 2015 alone. See
    http://contributions.electionsbc.gov.bc.ca/pcs/published/100128311.pdf

  4. Anton van Walraven says:

    Law always bows to personal beliefs, because that is how law is created and that is how laws change over time. Law is not something sacred or an untouchable entity. Every culture defines, enforces, pushes upon the colonized, reshapes, abandons etc. its own definitions of ‘justice’. Laws are thought up, written and discarded by people. It also directly proves why pretty much all laws are limited in scope, because they have been thought up by humans to protect human interests.
    So, it all depends who writes the law(s) and to what purpose, and whose interest is a law intended to protect. In Canada we have laws that were created to support the colonizing power or came out of laws that did. The culture of colonization is still firmly established and so are a good number of its laws.

    • Brad Hodge says:

      Laws themselves are not sacred but in a free country the rule of law is. It’s not the specific law that matters but how it is applied and changed. Nobody would play a game if they knew the rules could be changed arbitrarily *during* the event. Likewise, someone who has followed the laws and regulations as written should not have those laws and regulations retroactively changed on them because now popular sentiment doesn’t like the result. I know in our impatient culture we have little time for grand concepts like this, but we mess with it at our peril. Just ask overseas folks who are fleeing and/or parking their money here for safety what living in a ‘law always bowing to beliefs’ country is really like.

      • Anton van Walraven says:

        It is what you consider to be ‘the event’. The only grand concept we encounter is nature, and our impatient culture really applies to the few hundred years we have really been around and have been messing up things up badly.
        ‘Our culture’ are just a blip when you consider the age of this earth and what has come before us and what will be after us.
        If we keep to our window of humans, these are not arbitrary changes we are dealing with, we are talking about the survival of humankind. And if that means we have to change during ‘the even’ so be it, and this is not about playing games.

  5. Dave Colwell says:

    Brad.
    just because you have ensconced yourself firmly at the right end of the political spectrum, I don’t think you should decry those at other end quite so vehemently The people/protesters you refer to ARE environmentalists and do not deserve to be called “hijackers”.
    Throughout history there have been changes made to the betterment of Societies because of organized protest. I am sure you do not need me to elaborate on this .
    The LNG issue is complex and those who are against it have diverse viewpoints upon which to base their various quests.
    In most cases, their “No’s” are not hollow and deserve some respect. Many want to help preserve the returning trend of wildlife…Many are afraid of increased marine traffic and, real or not, the risks associated with it. …Many do not trust the head executive, based on his past record in South East Asia. And there are those who do not want the view of returned Industry across the Sound. Also the origin of most of the gas to make LNG is by Fracking which has become a controversial issue.
    But then, we are used to your sarcasm, and condescension inherent in most of what you write…which is your right too!

    • Brad Hodge says:

      Dave,

      It’s regrettable you’ve chosen to pigeonhole my politics and insult me rather than debate the point. The point of the article is that I believe protest is legitimate, however obstructing a person/group/company’s legal right to do something (ie. direct action) is not.

      I do regret if my clumsy wording made it sound like all environmentalists are hijackers. This is inaccurate. What I am trying to say is the poltical left, with its own ulterior motives, has been infiltrating the environmental movement to further its ends. As Lenin said, if not the door, try the window. The tactics would be familiar to any Bolshevik: discreditation of opponents, harassment, intimidation and even threats. It’s sad Tracey Saxby turned me into an enemy by taking out a leaflet to denounce me as a ‘denier’ because I didn’t support, point by point, her aims/beliefs on the environment. I supported efforts to rein in acid rain, deforestation, recycling and so on and I will not have neo-Puritans telling me I’m not legitimate because I stray from time to time on their orthodoxy. If that adds a terse tone to my writing on this subject, so be it. And if you want to keep insulting me, go for it. I’m tired of seeing people browbeaten into silence.

      • Dave Colwell says:

        Perhaps you too are pigeon holing. To separate the political left from environmentalism is, perhaps, rather simplistic. Both the perceived “left” and the “right” include many view points . You seem to consider the “left” as negative which is your prerogative. The political spectrum is merely a range of points of view and you can chose where you sit.
        Direct action does not have to be illegal but it can point to the possibility of changing the legality of a particular issue. This is how laws can and have been
        changed.
        Legal strikes and industrial protest can hinder the progress of a business and so too can positively point toward change.
        I apologize for my comments which led you to feel insulted. They were based on my reaction to some of yours. You see, I did not agree with all that you wrote, which is my right too.

  6. Ralph Fulber says:

    This project is still subject to financing. Seems that will render all other arguments mute.

  7. Michelle Neilson says:

    Articles like this and the resulting online posts and dialogue are true signs that we edge closer to the need for a community referendum. This town is living with an elephant on its back that is creating an invisible culture of divide. The only way to bring closure from here on in is either a referendum or direct action

  8. Dave Colwell says:

    How will a referendum help? Whatever the outcome it will make little difference and be another waste of m0oney.
    But if someone puts out a viewpoint which I do not agree with here, or anywhere else , I should have the right of rebuttal…albeit not offensively. And so should you.

  9. Thomas Jefferson says:

    Long Live Democrazy! Down with the oppressors. La Lucha Continua.. welcome to the world of grown up bantering. l love the comments, lets go have a pint. Excellent idea. This is actually a very serious debate. But we must examine some of the arguments made with a bit of Monty Python views of the world. My serious note is at the end (yes, it is intended to torture you wrenched souls). Fun doing this by getting the emotions out and focus on issues:

    1. Mordor….. we getting there. Call for Direct Actions, quoting Thomas Jefferson (me) out of context creates the pain, pain leads to the dark side, etc. we get the drift. Yes Mordor here we come if the debate is being hijacked by the skillful narrators of hate. Dangerous road we travel.

    2. Unfortunately, if our community continues on this path, it will be torn apart. Too quickly are the “action” guys on hand to threaten anyone that disagrees. It must please the green goblins of mayhem to see another yet peaceful community is making the local headlines.

    3. Fact: the recent demonstrations were organized by whom? Greenpeace and 350.org. and the Green Party. Fact: The Indian government banned Greenpeace because it is ‘undemocratic’. I think they had a rape case by its Executive Director also? Good one. 350.org and Greenpeace didn’t they organize a demonstration in Turkey in Gezi Park? Fact: 500 “Direct Action” activists were trained to incite global disobedience. Fact: the demonstration got quickly out of hand, because neither Greenpeace nor 350.org has wizardry powers to stop the mob which threw a police officer off a bridge who wanted to separate demonstrators from the riot police. The police officer died on the spot. Not a beep by either of the groups for taking responsibility. Fact: Embezzlement of donor funds by Greenpeace currency speculation. Loss about 5 million dollars? Fact: Defamation suit with Resolute, 150,000 dollars settlement in Ohio and about 50,000 dollars fine by U.S. coast guard for safety violations. In Ohio one of the misled activists a former veteran from Iraq committed suicide facing six years of jail. Greenpeace, mum. All paid by us donors and not an ioda different to the planet. Fact: Peru. UN Heritage site trampled on by Greenpeace. Really clever. So these are the peaceful folks visiting our neighborhood. Why don’t they really fight for injustice, like for the killing of Iraqi kids by Islamic State, or better North Korea. Last time the tried playing chicken in Russia, Putin throw them in the slammer. The usually mum public went in over drive celebrating on the Guardian commentaries. So please make Squamish a “Greenpeace” or outsider NGO free-zone.

    2. So not many job. Actually it really does not matter. Since many Canadians work overseas on the balance that argument makes absolutely no sense and qualifies in fear mongering.

    3. Tax jurisdiction. Matt B. no offense, I recommend you read up on Singapore being tax friendly. Your myths do not pass the reality check.

    4. Actually Matt, no offense, but the political left needs to run a tape on the drumbeat and horns blown and listen to itself. Doomsday tomorrow. Gets a bit old. And the fossil fuel right, yawn. Horse carriages or electric cars, yeah sure. Yawn again. I would agree if: a. a balanced power policy will be implemented. b. reject radical ideas (because they often sound good when yelled but seldom actually work) and c. balance. Balance in the universe. The yelling gets a bit like the missus yells at me to take the trash out. After a while I just switch off. I think the official term is “NGO fatigue”. The Atlantic, a balanced paper we can agree, wrote an excellent story called the White -Savior Industrial complex. Like hear, hear all Squamish, we are Greenpeace or whatever other fancy group and we are here to save you from all evil. (http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/the-white-savior-industrial-complex/254843/?single_page=true). Yawn.

    5. Environmental concerns or social costs? big words, little evidence. see 4. less yelling lots more facts. Let me guess, the whore housing construction worker story comes up again? Oh yeah, right. Facts please. Every camp I was ever in, was dry as a whistle, if the supervisors or security caught being stupid, you be stupid some other place. You will be gone in that New York minute.

    6. Market collapse? Well its the economy things rise and fall. prices drop and rise. Welcome to market economics. I have heard about no more oil and other eco-doomsday prediction since the 1970’s. Weird nobody from the greenie-lefties ever question Norway and its oil production? Hold that thought. If the market falls out, some of the Executives in Pacific Oil & Gas will get the boot. Maybe a bit of an Executive shake up will do fine. So go ahead and throw the old Direct Action around. Lets watch how the Greed, corrupt ones in Singapore pack and move to China, Africa or wherever. Life in the Howe sound will go on.

    7. The government. Oh yes, the evil corrupt hallways of power. How can they even dare to consider investment. Matt if you feel so strong about your rights as a citizen being violated, please fill immediately a lawsuit against the powerful premier. By gosh, how can they. Fact: Didn’t Greenpeace and 350.org receive a 2 million or more cash injection by the ClimateWorks Foundation? And they are who? the Ford Motor Company legacy foundations, Oak Foundation who made their fortunes in timber, Hewlett and Packard foundations, OMG, they are who…yes, HP. I am shocked. So not so squeaky clean themselves accepting U.S. dirty corporate money. Odd we never see a demonstration against any of these companies….hmmm.

    8. Yes. dearest Matt B. you have darn right the right to protest political decisions that defy the social license. Absolutely. Long Live Democracy. But…..we darn have equal rights to disagree with you. So you better darn except that too. After all that what is democracy is all about. Should you have a problem with it, than you are no better than North Korea, Venezuela, Islamic State or Iran. Earn democracy, don’t use it like a lady of the night.

    9. Christy Clark made money. Oh my god, not enough! let her have more. Alternatively you can run for political office. Try and we all will wait for your political manifesto of old socialist nonsense surfacing.

    10. Brad Hogde and Wolfgang: Yes you are correct. Today we no longer live in the world of balanced power. Today, we are taken hostage by the minority who screams the loudest and offers no solution other than being against…..well, everything. If you have a reasonable debate and argue; ok, but… Today, we usually get the litany of a regurgitated narrative of ‘just see the better world is just around the corner’, go renewable, fossil fuel mafia, mobilize the masses, and resistance movement against anything. Funny enough, Singapore has a higher per capita income than the United States and Canada. Guess they doing something right. But, that is besides the point. I liked the point, “there is a difference between protest and actively preventing someone from exercising their own legitimate rights”. Correct. That has been too often forgotten and too often being abused by the same who yell the loudest.

    11. Local opinions matter. Regardless of left or right of the aisle. But, we should be fundamentally concerned if the so called anti-LNG voices calling on “Direct Action”, waving the stick of the “terrorism” innuendo around while everyone knows the Action Direct aka the Squamish Five were arrested in our neighborhood. Lots of politics of fears are surfacing. We should be very concerned about the escalation of the rhetoric.

    12. So far the Mayor who got her ticket punched on the platform she is going to be greener than green is in fact setting the political tone in the municipality. I like to see her and stand up and tell everyone to tune down the noise. That in fact would be an act of maturity.

    13. Matt: You and corporations or individuals of corporations have one thing in common. The Freedom of Choice. This means you have the equal right to spend your money on whatever cause you might think is deserving your dollars. Now i am absolutely in no way supporting the greedy big wigs from the corporation which has a long history of problems.

    But I am not sure whats with the drumbeat of claiming inappropriateness. Sounds more like another yawn, bore us to death. innuendo. And, seriously, 15,150 dollars? And aren’t we all glad you stood up for the rights of discovery. Good on you. No go in the corner, sit down and have a coco latte with organic fig-leafs. Or whatever is today’s menu. Fact: dogwood? Isn’t that another NGO getting some money from some industry donors in the States? Hmm..competition? hold that thought.

    14. Anton van Walraven: No offense, colonization, seriously? like the British red coats returning to Squamish to finally finish us all off? This is the same leftist narratives that EarthFirst! and Mapuche uses in Chile. By the way, aren’t the Marxists? Never mind, moving on. Dear van Walraven, this would be of Dutch heritage, i presume, and i apologize if I get it wrong, but modern day The Netherlands which had a long history of colonization, wouldn’t you agree? Now, this presumptuously would mean The Netherlands are still holding colonial laws? In fact they do, but that does not make them colonizers. So i am not sure what the darn colonization narrative has to do with any of this. If you claim LNG is a colonizer to conquer us Howe sound natives, I recommend we immediately raise an militia and drive those darn Indians, Chinese, Germans, Brits, and whoever out of our lands. By golly, kick out the tourists as well, we never know how subversive they are. They might come to colonize us and expose us to foreign attempts to take over. No offense, but the lard that surfaces is mind blowing. And this needs to change.

    The serious note. I am concerned. We should be concerned. Language, history matters. So does political leadership. So far I am concerned that the Mayor and the Council was elected on an emotional fad of today. The surfacing of the Green Party and its rather aggressive, “You shall not Pass, or build” is disturbing. If we look at Germany’s history the country has produced a few concerning political movements, National Socialism, Communism and the Greens. Two out of three failed. Why should the third be any better? We must be careful of forces appearing in Squamish which we neither clearly understand but all sound wrong. Too loud, too yelling, too much, “I/We must”, too much of hidden innuendos and too much a politics of fear.

    I agree with the need for a strong controls over the questionable business interests of this Singaporean based company, with Indonesian owners, and Indian managers. Not transparent and if we remember the rant of the owners own niece does provide us a good inside look in some of the dark alleys of Asian business practices. But, our own corporations and powerful have their own bodies buried in our own backyards. We must question the illogical, we must question the machinations, the donations. Are these things influencing power?

    But in the same time, we must look forward. Not adopting some nonsense colonial blob, or click activism to groups who are funded by even larger U.S. corporations and using NGOs to divert from their own dirt.

    We must be concerned about the language and the “I” and “Me” is not better than “Us”. Look to our neighbors in the South, we shall not become like “them”. Now I have a pint.