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Council of Canadians supports public forum opposed to Woodfibre LNG terminal

LNG forum

A full house to learn from Squamish Nation, David Hughes and Marc Lee. Photo from My Sea to Sky.

The Council of Canadians supported a My Sea to Sky-organized LNG: Debunking the Myths public forum on Feb. 11 in West Vancouver.

My Sea to Sky is a grassroots, volunteer organization concerned about the impacts of the proposed Woodfibre liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal (and its associated tankers and pipeline) on Howe Sound in Squamish. That community is located about 75 kilometres north of Vancouver.

The speakers at the event included David Hughes and Marc Lee. As noted in the Facebook outreach for the event, “With over four decades of research in the energy sector including 32 years with the Geological Survey of Canada as a scientist and research manager, earth scientist David Hughes [has produced a series of papers for the Post Carbon Institute and] separately from Post Carbon, Hughes authored BC LNG: A Reality Check in 2014 and A Clear View of BC LNG in 2015, which examined the issues surrounding a proposed massive scale-up of shale gas production in British Columbia for LNG export. …Marc Lee, Senior Economist and Project Director of the Climate Justice Project with the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), will discuss the purported employment estimates given by the LNG industry and how they are substantially lower than government claims.”

In March 2015, the Council of Canadians made a submission to the B.C. Environment Assessment Office calling on the B.C. government to reject the Woodfibre LNG project. If approved the Woodfibre terminal, seven kilometres from downtown Squamish, would produce roughly 2.1 million metric tonnes of liquefied natural gas. The LNG would then be shipped on tankers through Howe Sound for export. Some members of Squamish Nation are opposed to the Woodfibre LNG terminal as well as its associated FortisBC pipeline. We highlighted, “Fracking projects are happening on Indigenous lands without respect for First Nations Treaty Rights and Title. Governments must obtain free, prior and informed consent before proceeding with fracking and related projects.”

Just a few days after making that submission, the Council of Canadians Delta-Richmond and Surrey chapters, along with Vancouver-based Council of Canadians regional organizer Harjap Grewal, were in Squamish – with more than 500 other people – for a protest against the Woodfibre project. The Squamish Chief reported, “Hundreds gathered at Nexen Beach and marched down to the Woodfibre LNG office to protest the Woodfibre and Fortis projects on Sunday [March 29, 2015]. The event was organized by Squamish First Nation and My Sea to Sky.”

In September 2014, the Council of Canadians also co-sponsored the My Sea to Sky-organized ‘LNG and Petro-State Politics’ public forum with Andrew Nikiforuk at Quest University Canada. You can read more about that in this campaign blog, Council of Canadians co-sponsors LNG public forum in Squamish.

In its Speech from the Throne last Tuesday (Feb. 9), the Christy Clark provincial government admitted that the LNG industry that was to generate $100 billion in revenue had failed to materialize. The Vancouver Sun reports, “Though there are 20 active LNG projects in the province, none have passed the planning stage and into reality.” The Council of Canadians opposes LNG projects for numerous reasons including they contribute to climate change, consume massive amounts of water, cause ecosystem destruction, often violate the rights of Indigenous peoples, and negatively impact air quality.