I don’t support the current project because I think the provincial government policy on LNG is short sighted. There are concerns with fracking and we don’t have the cleanest LNG as the government is saying. It won’t be a net gain and there are several environmental issues, air quality issues that haven’t been taken into account. With the Fortis gas pipeline, we have just beginning to understand the implications. It will go through our business park, through the estuary so there are huge issues with that too. Economically, there won’t be any gains but we may have a bit of a boom. I don’t have the power…we don’t have jurisdiction but we can ask the right questions, which I think our Mayor and council are not asking about the process. We may not have the jurisdiction, but you have to speak your mind.
District isn’t in a position to decline the project as out OCP calls for industry on that site. There are a number of benefits but my big concern is impact to environment. That is an overriding concern and that is why I directed staff to set up this LNG committee. We have decided to get an actual expert opinion on this, whether it’s impact to the marine, air or the land.
I have learned a lot about it in the past and in talking about this particular proposal, I have yet to see anything that is a concern to our community. There were couple of key concerns, like what the effects of emissions might be but that is behind us now. The other thing is what the effect would be on the process if it will be on the water, but now we know it’s on the land. People have raised concerns about shipping, temporary foreign workers, safety and I don’t think any of those concerns are grounded in reality.I went to a seminar given by the Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia on October 15, 2014 in Vancouver and they showed video of what happens when you try to light this on fire, nothing. LNG carriers in the gulf war were being hit by RPGs and missiles and nothing really happens. Certainly the missiles left a hole in the boat but no explosion and, in one case if I recall correctly, only a small fire that extinguished itself. The vessels basically carried on. I’ve been boating since I was 11 and I’m not concerned about the carriers in the Howe Sound.
The only thing we can do is comment when the EA process is complete at some point in the early next year. We sent comments on GAS, but that didn’t kill it. We can make a comment that is not supportive and that is the extent of our influence on that process. There is no discretion on the building permit and I heard one candidate mention we could downzone it to park. That would be a deemed expropriation and could expose the district to legal challenge. If we kill that deal, we face legal challenges. If you killed it by zoning, you would have to pay damages. It’s already a zoned land and it’s not a district decision whether it goes ahead or not. They need a development permit, but there is very little discretion and if they follow the guidelines, we have to issue it. And development permit dictates form and character and it’s not a land use issue. The land use is industrial and this site is zoned industrial.
Two words: horribly frustrating.
For starters, there is a herculean distrust of the oil and gas industry. As a leader, citizen and father I cannot wait to see the long-awaited proposal because there are serious financial, social, and environmental concerns in our community that must be addressed. Equally frustrating is that our province just voted in favor of LNG. During the recent Provincial election the winning party made LNG their top platform and priority. The people had their say, cast their ballots, and the LNG-at-any-cost side won by a landslide. Now we have an amazingly well
educated, passionate town with hundreds of reasonable questions against an excruciatingly slow process that does nothing to instill confidence. So as a councilor I am charged with keeping an open mind until I see the proposal but at this time I have serious doubts our communities concerns will be answered sufficiently.
I could only support a LNG compression facility in our community if certain criteria were met. Passing environmental assessment, this was recently submitted. It must not be a floating facility but have its infrastructure on land. It must run off of hydroelectric, not gas. It must not pollute Howe Sound or cause damage to the marine environment. Environmental regulations must be exceeded with temperature guidelines for water warming and bleach content.
I have heard many valid community concerns. Although council’s opinion may not have any affect on the development of this site, consistent communication with the province and the proponents will be essential to having our concerns met. With many environmental regulations being cut federally, we need to ensure that there is support and staffing for enforcement. Through new research facilities and partnerships with universities, Squamish is uniquely positioned to help set international standards for LNG. If this plant opens, we must take advantage of provincial funding for opportunities to educate our youth about the evolving energy sector and its environment impact.
The Woodfibre LNG proposal should not influence this election. All we can do is send our comments to Victoria who do not necessarily listen to our position….an example… the Ashlu IPP. I believe Woodibre LNG will breathe some life into our economy. The site is removed from the developed community. Historically it is an industrial site. We need the 100 well paying, long term jobs this development will provide. The industrial property taxes generated should enable a decrease in our residential and business tax rates. WLNG will contribute to further business opportunities here. I believe most of the employees will choose to live here for the great lifestyle and 5 minute commute to the ferry and their workplace. Those employees will spend more of their salaries in Squamish creating more job opportunities. So I support WLNG as long as our environmental and safety concerns are addressed satisfactorily by Victoria.
I do not support the WLNG project. I cannot reconcile our urgent need to address human-caused climate change while allowing the expansion of fossil fuel resource extraction in my own community. LNG cannot be an effective “transition” fuel given that there are no effective and enforceable agreements or policies to take coal-fired plants off-line in equivalent quantity. The province cannot meet its own legally mandated GHG emission targets when you consider the whole life cycle of LNG including non-conventional shale gas extraction (fracking), liquefaction and transportation. The much-touted benefits, taxes and 100 jobs, pale in comparison to the potential impacts to our local economy, environment and community. Squamish has an opportunity to become a leading resilient community in transitioning to a new, creative economy with a diversity of less harmful industries including the renewable resource sector. I believe our natural assets, collective values and the vision for our future is much beyond the boom and bust economy we have suffered from in the past. It is up to each of us and our entire community to stand behind our shared values and be strong enough to say No to short-term small gains and invest instead in our long-term future. Our environment is our economy.
While I do believe the Woodfibre LNG proposal must be addressed during the campaign it is my hope that we will have room for discussion of many other significant challenges that will come before Council over the next four years. There are many other issues that will come before Council; in addition to evaluating candidate positions on current issues, it is important that voters consider the approach and skills of each candidate in order to ensure their elected officials can effectively address future issues that will emerge in our community. A core value for me is an engaged and informed public that can openly and freely exchange ideas, opinions, and information. I commend the active citizens and civil society groups that have put significant time and effort into this issue. I am concerned about the Woodfibre LNG’s potential impact on the health of Howe Sound and the implications for climate change. Given that the proposed site is zoned for Industrial use, Council is not in a position to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as it would if the project required a rezoning. Council should be an effective voice to advocate for effective protections for our environment and for increasing the benefits going back to the community. In addition, Council must seize this opportunity to build community capacity and bring citizens closer to their government. With the upcoming review of our Official Community Plan, we have the ability to be more explicit about our community’s values so that future development is guided by a vision for a more sustainable and resilient community. I am also concerned about how this issue has come to divide people, and it runs the risk of becoming corrosive. Council works best when it can bring people together around common values. We need to break through the impasse of yes or no and zero in on the substantive issues at hand.
At this time, and while the Environmental Assessment processes for the LNG facility and the Fortis BC pipeline are still ongoing, I am not convinced this project proposal should be opposed. The projected benefits appear to outweigh potential risks. I do not distinguish between the gas to be handled at Woodfibre with that used in our homes and commercial or public buildings, or that shipped through Squamish to Whistler.
I have some concerns regarding the location of the proposed Fortis BC facilities; but I am satisfied the company is doing its best to find optimal facility location and pipeline route solutions.
There appear to be significant potential local benefits from the proposed Woodfibre LNG project, including: well-paying jobs for local people; municipal tax revenues; environmental remediation, making available a significant site for future economic development opportunities; marine transportation improvements which can benefit other commercial and recreational users; aquatic habitat enhancement projects; ongoing sponsorships of community projects.
All major construction projects have some environmental impact — including housing developments. I have been working to ensure these Woodfibre LNG and Fortis BC pipeline projects would have minimal environmental impacts, since they were first announced. I have lobbied strongly for electricity-powered plants, and actively participated in the Environmental Assessment processes, including on behalf of Squamish Streamkeepers and the Sea to Sky Clean Air Society.
I understand that when the people of Squamish want to know where the candidates stand on LNG, what they really want to know is where their personal values lay. And this is important, as values-based leadership is the least corruptible. I am all too aware that the District is legally bound to follow certain procedures on this and other matters, but at the heart we all want to know that those who represent us share the same value system. And I value a clean, innovative, thriving Squamish that makes its mark on the world for the right reasons. I want my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to look back with pride that we did everything we could to preserve and protect our town.
Squamish should not rely on another short-sighted boom & bust economy – we need long term solutions that present the world with a current portrayal of our values and how much we respect our natural, social and community assets. We need more well-paying jobs and an increased tax base that capitalize on the knowledge and technical skills that we already have in Squamish. And we need to attract (and not detract) sustainable new businesses to invest in our town that don’t have so many detrimental impacts. There will be far more opportunities laying before us if we believe in what this town has to offer, and have a solid stand-alone Economic Development Committee in place to aggressively promote Squamish. We need to attract complimentary industries that feed off, not detract, from each other – Rec-Tech that feeds off, and into, tourism and our spectacular outdoor amenities. Expanding our education offerings while linking to high tech industry with our Digital Strategy. Forestry, our creative community and building community coming together to foster new advances in value-added wood products and cutting edge building solutions to provide better, more efficient buildings and homes.
I have serious concerns about the health and environmental impacts of fracking. And I don’t support any risks to our air, water quality, safety or threats to our marine habitat. But if WLNG is going to happen, then I want to ensure we don’t get shut out of the discussions regarding tight regulations and getting the best deal for Squamish as a whole.
I do not support the Woodfibre LNG project. The economic case has not been made, I am not convinced of the short or long-term benefits to our town, and the environmental impacts of fracking, transmission, processing, transporting and burning LNG show that it is not really a greener “transition” source of energy. It will exacerbate climate change and I believe we can do better than to build our local economy on the back of a boom and bust product like LNG. In addition, the Fortis gas line is a threat to our community as they plan on servicing the WLNG site by more than doubling the size of the existing pipeline and placing a compression station in our industrial park. This poses a very real threat to houses, businesses and tourist attractions like the West Coast Heritage Museum located nearby.
- Invite the Provincial Government to speak to the town at an Open House so that they can defend their economic and environmental policy around the LNG industry rather than our local politicians having to take the hard hits for their bad policy.
- Consult with other municipalities who are standing up to large fossil-fuel based infrastructure projects to understand all of the options at our disposal.
- Ask the questions to determine whether a bigger Fortis pipeline and a compression station are really in the best interests of our community and environment.
- Find a way to better engage with our community to hear from the silent majority to gauge the sentiment of the community and their level of understanding of the facts from both sides of the LNG debate.
- Ask Quest University to conduct an independent unbiased analysis of the impacts of the LNG plant and include both local impacts and the larger impact of how WLNG would contribute to climate change.
It is not a sustainable business model. As the race to shipping LNG around the world has quickened, BC is behind other operators and countries. Already prices are dropping due to supply and demand. Canadian federal marine policies are not in place to guide / support / regulate design, transfer, shipping, or personnel of LNG facilities. It has been left up to industry to take the responsibility to do this. Who is going to deal with issues? Example – the closest to home example is the derelict boats floating in the waters in Squamish area, which no one, with the mandate to be responsible, seems to be interested in dealing with. The most recent example is the Russian ship incident off the shores of Haida Gwaii.
Howe Sound’s natural and social environment deserves protection. Every generation living here believes this, even the long-time residents who may have a sentimental attachment to the word Woodfibre. If they want to fondly remember how the previous company created community in the last century, I beg them to ask themselves honestly if they think a foreign-owned, shareholder company of the 21st century has much of an actual action plan for ensuring the well-being of the community. We hear of recent financial contributions by the proponent to groups in Squamish. IF true, I would caution against future acceptance of funds. This is nothing more than charitable bribery to non-profit organizations who will be audited by the present federal government who want to ensure the donations go to those who support their vision. When I am in office, I will work hard to make sure it does not get approval.
Personally, and as a councillor (should I be elected), I don’t believe this a matter of supporting the WLNG project or not. I think the reality is that WLNG will happen if the investor wants to proceed, the Province wants it to proceed and the Environmental Assessment process allows the project to proceed. Based on that understanding, I believe that it is imperative that Council and every councillor do their utmost to ensure the best possible outcome for Squamish. Council should work for Squamish with the proponent and the Province to ensure that:
- WLNG is aware of meeting its duty of care for operating in our District as well as the areas outside our immediate boundary,
- WLNG is an open, transparent and cooperative neighbour,
- WLNG reports on key performance indicators regarding safety and the minimisation of environmental impacts, and
- That there is a clear and set process for Council/DOS to raise concerns with WLNG management.
I’m not a big supporter or fan of the WLNG. We need to move away from low quality growth and more towards long-term clean industries. The price of LNG is dropping and we are already behind everyone on the world stage. We need to be less submissive in our dealings with Asia. Once we build our infrastructure I could see China balking at our price. At this point they will be holding all the cards. This does not take into account the 50000+ poison wells we will be leaving for our children.
Since it is apparently out of our hands I would fight tooth and nail for the best deal for our community. As much tax income and a solid guarantee that they will hire locally. If they are set up in the sound, there better be no environmental damage. Even the flare stack frightens me, make no mistake this is heavy industry. It has a dirty and ugly side and the proponents have been less than accommodating in their approach with our community. How many industrial disasters do we have to read about before the feds and provinces realize big industry cannot police themselves?
Being the first candidate to step out and publicly announce my opposition to LNG, I believe that Squamish deserves better! As a community that prides itself on being the “Outdoor Capital of the World” and branded “Hardwired for Adventure,” how can we welcome this industry at our doorstep? Howe Sound and its marine life deserve stewardship and preservation. Howe Sound is a narrow waterway with marine, freighter, and recreational traffic. Warm, chlorinated water from the LNG cooling system would be dumped back into the sound. Fracking does incredible damage to our air and underground water tables while the toxic liquid cocktail used to force the gas out of the ground is a proven carcinogen. Our prospect of local jobs has diminished with the provincial government signing the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The promised infusion of tax dollars in our community has rapidly faded with recent announcements of lowered tax caps and increased subsidies to the LNG industry. As a family man and advocate for our community, I want to be part of the solution for our future, not part of the problem. Lets talk further about it! Email me email@example.com or visit my Facebook site: Peter Kent for Squamish Council.
Yes, I support Woodfibre LNG’s plans for an export facility in principle. Although I remain open to new information, on balance I believe the plant is a net plus for the community. The tax revenue alone is equivalent to almost 1/3 what the District receives today from business and industry, not to mention the benefit of millions in new payroll. This is not to say I would grant WLNG a blank cheque. I would insist it exceed all environmental regulations and look for maximum economic benefit for the community. But as it stands I do not believe it will harm Howe Sound nor in any way degrade our quality of life, and the benefit is just too large to ignore.
With any project like WLNG, there have to a community benefits, such as taxes, infrastructure up grades, employment, and community amenity contributions.I support the project, and appreciate that some community concerns have been considered. The proponent’s decision to operate on land and power it with electricity is positive. My final decision will be made, when all required conditions and tax implications are met. The DOS needs to be engaged in conversations with the proponent and province, to ensure the best possible outcome if it proceeds. This project could still be few years away and only if market conditions are good. There are concerns with the Fortis compression station location in the industrial park and twinning of a larger pipeline. The Dos has the ability to provide input though zoning and bylaw, so that community concerns are met. Responsible government needs to consider aspects and not focus on one issue only.
If we were all financially stable and our property taxes were reasonable no one would want the LNG . As it is other cities would be glad to have it and we can defiantly use the tax base. The provincial government has fifteen proposed sites and would be happy if three of those come to fruition. This site has all the requirements to be first out of the gate as the flagship projects that would be complete before the next provincial election . There are two facts that we know ,property taxes And jobs (the number up for debate ) as well as opening up that side of the sound for adventure .All the possible negative impacts are what if scenarios . It is hard to make decisions based on things that might happen so mostly things move forward with provisions in place to rectify negative impact. So for those whom are choosing there mayor based on how we answer this question it will be like voting for the weatherman who gives you the best forecast for the weekend, my take on this is those apposed to LNG want to go up against the federal government, provincial government, huge oil company interest, big business and stop the LNG ship from coming up the sound when we cant even get Steen larson to move a rusty old ship out of the harbour . what do you think your chances of success are.
We cannot stop negative impacts but we can minimise the event by imposing a ridged monitoring system staffed by company and local interests paid for by LNG . There should also be a fund in place controlled by the district so that money is available immediately for remediation if necessary. This fund will grow with time and the accumulated interest could also be used for environmental projects in the community . When something is inevitable it is time to stop resisting and get any available benefits rather than getting run over.