Regional government is pressing the province to hold public consultations for the Sunshine Coast on the Woodfibre LNG plant proposal.
Twelve February and July meetings were held in the towns of Squamish, Furry Creek, Brittannia Beach, Whistler and West Vancouver, but no meetings had yet been held on the Coast, Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) senior planner David Rafael confirmed.
“We asked for a consultation opportunity in the future,” Rafael said, “for when the full application comes in, and that’s up to the proponents when that happens.”
The meetings earlier this year were intended to inform and hear from the public about the project’s possible impacts on communities. The SCRD had sent communications reminding Victoria that Coast communities are situated near the same marine passages that the transport ships will travel to reach the proposed natural gas terminal. The assessment currently underway is looking at the implications of cleaning up the old Woodfibre mill and converting it to a natural gas terminal in Squamish. Tankers would reach the terminal via Howe Sound and its adjoining channels. Several other regional and municipal governments as well as First Nations have been involved in the talks so far, and the comments are now compiled.
“Input received will be considered by the project team, along with technical and socio-economic considerations, in the plans for the Woodfibre LNG Project,” Woodfibre’s website states, while consultation results are posted there for interested parties.
The province sent a letter acknowledging interest from the Coast region on the matter.
“In light of the concerns that you raise and the interest about the project from the Sunshine Coast, I commit to consider holding an open house on the Sunshine Coast, (Gibsons) … during the environmental assessment stage,” a letter from Asst. Project Assessment Manager, Alanya Smith stated.