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.
To date, of 88 candidates known to still be in the race, only 37 filled out our survey. (A few completed it after we published the results, so we've updated this page accordingly). That's only 42%! The good news is, of these 37 candidates—35 said they don't support the Woodfibre LNG plant moving forward. That's 95% not in favour of Woodfibre LNG! However, we should be careful about extrapolating this to all 88 candidates still in the race. It might be that candidates who are against Woodfibre LNG are also more likely to admit it openly. Conversely, candidates who support the LNG plant may not want to broadcast it loudly.
About those tight-lipped candidates, is this the mark of a good councillor or mayor? One who may avoid straight-up questions about key issues at a critical time? Maybe some candidates want control over all their messaging? Whatever the reason, you can check out who actually did respond (above). If they're not mentioned here, they didn't answer our questions.
Of the 35 candidates that said no to Woodfibre LNG, environmental risks associated with the project were most frequently cited as reasons for not supporting the project. Economic risk and human safety rounded out the top three reasons. See the blue bar graph for more detail.
We did our best at collecting and compiling the survey results, which we produced as a service to citizens to inform their choices on voting day. This isn't the only issue in this election, but it is a big one. There's no substitute for doing your own research and asking your own questions before you go to the polls. Feel free to use this information as a guide.
We've easily surpassed 1000 signatures on our Declaration to Protect Howe Sound before our target date—general voting day. More people continue to sign it everyday. Help us continue to build political leverage by signing and sharing it, so we can reach a new plateau of support—2000.
*Squamish table updated on Nov. 14 with Ted Prior
*Bowen Island table updated on Nov. 8 with Melanie Mason
*West Vancouver table updated on Nov. 6 2014 with Bill Soprovich who sent us a note through our contact form
*Squamish table updated on Oct. 30 2014 with Kevin Jewell
*Squamish and Whistler tables updated on Nov. 2, 2014 with Chris Pettingill and Sue Maxwell