The Save Our Sound flotilla protesting the Woodfibre LNG plant in Howe Sound set sail with close to 50 boats and 150 people on July 11 with their message to Christy Clark: No LNG facility in Howe Sound.
The event was organized by two groups with a vested interested in Howe Sound, the Concerned Citizens of Bowen (CCB) and My Sea to Sky (MSS).
“We’ve often stated many objections to it, most of which have been repeated by the Squamish First Nation in their 26 demands,” MSS co-founder Eoin Finn said.
One of the main objections to the LNG facility is the potential risks involved in the LNG tanker route that passes through Howe Sound close to Anvil, Bowen and Gambier islands. Another concern is possible water contamination from the plant’s cooling system that will leach small levels of chlorine into the water around the facility.
The environmental assessment that is looking into the impacts of the LNG facility on the local ecosystem has been put on hold while Woodfibre considers the 26 changes requested by the Squamish Nation.
“As a Bowen Island resident, I can tell you, people are not happy about this LNG plant that is proposed for Howe Sound,” Anton van Walraven of CCB stated in a press release. “After years of pollution, we are now seeing the whales, herring and dolphin return, and we don’t want to go backwards.”
Two public comment periods have been held, one last winter and another last spring. According to Finn, about 2,000 comments were issued in the first, with another 1,700 in the second. Finn said that these have been largely ignored.
“The public has been shut out of this process as of about six weeks ago. We have no further input into it,” Finn said. “That’s not sitting very well with us, so the message to Christy Clark has to be over sound waves and the media: Please do not put an LNG facility in Howe Sound.”
The flotilla started with a press conference in Horseshoe Bay at 10:30 a.m. last Saturday. The boaters then took to the water and followed the proposed LNG tanker route up Howe Sound.