Yesterday, 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.
More times than I can remember over the past 5 years, myself, along with another band of concerned citizens from Sea to Sky met with Weston on salmon conservation issues. The idea of attending another meeting didn’t exactly excite me, but then it struck me as an opportunity to bring up Propeller Strategy and the recent launch of our Declaration to Protect Howe Sound from LNG. I’m glad I went. Sitting around a full table of people standing up for a healthy economy, environment and future was a good reminder that we’re not alone.
With my two minutes at the microphone, I told the MPs about the launch of our declaration, and how it topped 200 signatures in just a few days—many from John’s own riding. And we’ve only just begun. I reiterated concerns about the proposed LNG plant, and that an objective process for citizen input was lacking.
As I spoke, I sat beside Eoin Finn—a local hero representing My Sea to Sky. Someone who admittedly didn’t plan on spending his retirement fighting to protect his home from ill-planned industrial developments. Sure, the on-paper objective for the meeting was to give us an opportunity to raise our concerns about the Sound’s future. But maybe, the real value in the meeting was a reminder of a growing citizenry standing-up together to protect their home in the face of adversity.
A huge thanks to the Future of Howe Sound Society for organizing this important meeting. Help protect Howe Sound. Take a minute to sign the declaration and share it, so we can empower each other and build numbers to continue to press elected officials for real action.