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The Woodfibre LNG “open house”

Dear Editor, Having spent time at the Bowen Island Community School public information event last Saturday, I am appalled at what I have learned.

Dear Editor,

Having spent time at the Bowen Island Community School public information event last Saturday, I am appalled at what I have learned. Why was I not aware of what is going on? Where have I been? Rules are being bent and International Port Safety Standards blatantly ignored to facilitate a private and foreign owned  business.
I am a long time resident of Bowen Island and now discover that our home lies well within the SIGTTO World Authority’s “ Hazard 2 Zone” of the proposed shipping lane.
Zone 2,  warns, in the event of an accident  “death by asphyxiation  - - fire or explosion.”
For the past forty years, my family recreation has centered around sailing, boating and fishing largely within the proposed hazard areas.
Our home on Bowen looks out over the subject proposed shipping lane and as the area  is used and crossed by three separate passenger ferry routes, we never look out without seeing a ferry. It is common to see two or even three ferries at the same time right in the proposed shipping channel.
The marine traffic anticipated, according to the  public information provided for this project is vastly understated. Clearly the plant is designed for drastic expansion. When this happens, there will be gas ships passing in and out of the area daily. Will recreation vessels be required to clear the area every time a gas ship plans to pass through? What priority will the ferries have, or will their schedules be further disrupted? Ferries do not carry passengers on dangerous cargo sailings. However, LNG cargoes are fearsomely dangerous. It would take only one LNG accident to destroy the residential and marine areas in Howe Sound, yet LNG shipments are being offered special privileges. How will this installation and marine traffic affect tourism? Squamish has been growing as a tourist area and has gained an international reputation. An LNG terminal will seriously affect the revenue-generating activity of tourism and depress house prices, with long term consequences, even if there is no serious accident.
Even apart from the possibility of an enormous accident  and explosion, there are so many  environmental issues that are being brushed aside.  Millions of tons of sea water will be used for cooling. The sea water will be chlorinated and heated to the extent that it may seriously damage marine life. Presently, we are all rejoicing that herring, salmon and whales are returning to Howe Sound and this project could easily reverse the recovery.
A smoke stack some 400 feet high with a  flame is planned to dispose of noxious fumes.  The height is partly to ensure that the flame does not ignite any leaking gasses within the plant at ground level.
The proposed project and plant is for the benefit of one foreign-owned corporation, owned by one individual, Mr. Sukanto Tanoto, who I was told, has no intention of taking the company public. I am told that Mr Tanoto’s company has been fined $205 million (US) for tax evasion through the use of offshore companies etc. Why would our Provincial and Federal Governments make favourable concessions to an outsider, jeopardising the attractive Howe Sound tourist area, when tourism is a major industry in BC., and also limiting our enjoyment of our beautiful Howe Sound?
Creation of jobs during construction will be largely offshore and of very short term. There will be few permanent jobs and those will be mostly for technically trained personnel from elsewhere.
Projected tax revenues are no doubt exaggerated and profits will be diverted, buried and hedged in every way possible reducing taxes to an absolute minimum.
Obvious dangers to our community, safety issues, disruption of ferry traffic, inconveniences and losses to the tourist trade and local house prices will grossly outweigh any benefits.
Our new Council must immediately take a stand and demand that the Senior Governments reject the whole proposal.

Respectfully yours,
Dai Roberts