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Lauren Greenlaw is running for council

Greenlaw, an exploration geologist who has worked in the mining sector, is making the environment a priority.
Lauren Greenlaw
Lauren Greenlaw.

An exploration geologist with a strong environmental viewpoint is running for a seat on District council.

Lauren Greenlaw said she has done database work in her field, which is the practice of finding resources for future mining projects.

Her primary focus for the last seven years has been raising children, though she has done some consulting and teaching.

While working in the mining sector may come across to some as being at odds with environmental goals, Greenlaw said that mining doesn't fit with her life anymore as a career path.

She also said that it's all about moderation.

"I am not an extremist," she said. "Everything has to be in moderation...We need to start looking at what that moderation looks like, because right now, everything is just mass consumerism without really looking at the actual cost of our consumption."

Greenlaw said she is campaigning on environmental issues, affordability and livability, among other things.

Climate change, in particular, is a big concern for her.

"The climate crisis is a real concern of mine. And it's also not the only environmental crisis that we are currently in," said Greenlaw. "I feel strongly that we need to start reassessing how we live in our natural systems and how we co-exist just as humans. Environmental degradation is deeply intertwined with inequality. And that's where I am most passionate — is incorporating the two."

She said that she was against the creation of any new liquefied natural gas infrastructure. While the municipality has, at best, limited power over these projects, Greenlaw said it's key for local governments to petition senior levels of government to stop these initiatives.

"We need to raise the alarm about how this is being forced down [the] community's throats like this," said Greenlaw. "This is a raw deal for us. You know, as a species, I cannot stress enough, we need to get off oil and gas. This is not a drill."

Greenlaw also said it's necessary for the municipality to acquire the technology that would allow it to process compostable packaging at the landfill.

Affordability is also top of mind for Greenlaw, who said Squamish is currently unaffordable for most of its population.

She said that while municipalities can't do much to bring prices down, they can try to provide more units.

"I think we need to start focusing on development of rental units, but then also, possibly earmark some of these units for affordable housing, or housing for healthcare workers or housing for child care workers," Greenlaw said.

Currently, she said, there's a crisis in trying to attract and retain frontline and service workers.

On her platform point about livability, Greenlaw was not afraid to wade into Squamish's parking debate.

"We really need to revisit this concept of letting developments build without ample parking for the residents," she said. "It's not even close to working."

Cash in lieu of parking regulations needs to be examined, said Greenlaw. The payment figures need to be updated, and, in some cases, developers should not be allowed to forgo building parking spots.

The municipal election is Oct. 15.


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