And the winners of the Howe Sound elections are...

Yesterday's election provided a few surprises. Squamish Mayor, Rob Kirkham, was unseated by Patricia Heintzman—a former councillor, who definitely resides in the "no" camp on the Woodfibre LNG issue according to our recent candidate survey

Voter turnout in Squamish increased a few percentage points since 2011. So, things may get a bit warm for newly elected councillor, Peter Kent, a professional stuntman, who committed to setting himself on *fire* if voter turnout improved this time around.

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Candidates across Howe Sound say no to LNG (updated)

Ever try to get a straight-up answer on a controversial issue from 98 municipal election candidates? No small endeavour. 

We tracked down email addresses for as many Howe Sound candidates as we could—95 to be exact (we reached out to 3 by phone). Next, we sent them our short two-question survey on the proposed Woodfibre LNG plant. We think citizens deserve straight-up answers on issues that affect them; hence, we required candidates to state whether they support the LNG plant—yes or no. No long-winded "maybes" allowed. Of those 95 candidates, 88 are still in the race (last time we checked). A few dropped out since nomination day.

We tried contacting some candidates up to three times at multiple email addresses—but many didn't reply. Some may not want to answer a simple yes or no question. Regardless, we'll continue to update the results as more candidates get around to filling it out (hopefully). If you're a candidate in Howe Sound and didn't receive our survey, please contact us.

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What do election candidates think about Woodfibre LNG?

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Sometimes election candidates aren't completely clear on their stand on controversial issues. That's why we sent out a simple survey on the proposed Woodfibre LNG plant to almost 100 municipal election candidates across Howe Sound. We're conducting this survey so Howe Sound citizens know where their candidates stand on one of the most important issues facing the area. We're urging all candidates to respond to the survey. The two questions we're asking are:

  • Question 1. Given what you know at this point in time about the proposed Woodfibre LNG project (including everything that’s related to it), do you support the project moving forward to construction? (Yes or No)
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West Van 2, Woodfibre LNG 0

Back in July, the West Vancouver Municipal Council heard a presentation from Eoin Finn from My Sea to Sky on the risks of tankers in Howe Sound. Subsequently, they voted to recommend a ban on LNG tanker traffic. On Monday, council revisited the issue because Woodfibre LNG representatives wanted to tell their side of the story. A packed audience listened intently to the company's presentation. You could feel the tension in the room.

Councillor Mary-Ann Booth took particular issue with Woodfibre's promises of economic prosperity and jobs. 

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Fracked Pennsylvania—a future B.C. can avoid

for-blog-Fracking_Site_in_Warren_Center__PA_07.jpegAccording to the Wall Street Journal, the state of Pennsylvania released details of 243 cases of contaminated drinking wells linked to gas extraction1.  The Keystone state is in its 6th year of a gas boom, which means officials allowed this to happen for 6 years without reporting, until last week. For a place that’s home to the city of brotherly love, that's down right unneighbourly. A sad truth—once big gas sinks their wells into a jurisdiction, political tunnel vision may ensue. Take note British Columbia, buds must be nipped in our own province.

We can’t rely on political fairy tales starring Woodfibre LNG to save the day. Rhetoric from officials of a “world class” industry is a distraction. For example, 41 billion litres of fracked water, too contaminated for surface disposal were injected into a 46-year old gas well in B.C.’s north-east2. How is this the mark of a “world class” industry?

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Introducing our declaration to MP John Weston

MPs-Weston-and-Carrie.jpgYesterday, about 20 conservationists, First Nations and municipal councilors met with John Weston, MP for West Vancouver, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky Country. Tagging along with John was MP Colin Carrie from Oshawa, the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of the Environment. The topic of discussion for the meeting—the future of Howe Sound.

Almost immediately, the conservative MPs faced respectful but repeated criticism and questions on issues ranging from coal port approvals to depleted habitat for species at risk. They appeared to busily jot down notes, as speaker after speaker raised concern about the lack of meaningful action from Ottawa on protecting Howe Sound. The two MPs committed to a response to all questions at some point in the future.

 

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