Garibaldi at Squamish will be asking the province for a five-year extension on its environmental assessment, or EA, certificate.
Sabina FooFat, project director for Garibaldi at Squamish, or GAS, said the company is expected to submit its application by April this year. The processing time is expected to take about nine months.
The proposed development would bring a ski resort to Brohm Ridge, just north of town. The project seeks to bring thousands of jobs and tourists to the area. It has been met with mixed reactions from both residents and elected officials.
GAS’ environmental assessment certificate was granted in January 2016, and will last until January 2021.
Should the extension succeed, the certificate will be good until 2026.
The EA certificate has 40 conditions, which are broken down into categories, such as pre-construction conditions, construction conditions, pre-operation conditions, and operational conditions.
FooFat said that GAS is currently focused on meeting pre-construction conditions.
This includes a condition for an Aquatic Effects Management Plan, or AEMP, and a Brohm River Management Plan.
The AEMP must be completed by the third anniversary of the certificate’s issue, reads one of the conditions.
“The goal of the AEMP must be to investigate and detect potential environmental effects in
the aquatic receiving environment that may result from Project activities and provide
adaptive management to mitigate the effects,” reads the table of conditions for the EA certificate.
FooFat also noted that the company is also working on its Biodiversity and Ecology Retention Management Plan, which aims to provide information on how to manage wildlife and vegetation, among other things, in the area.
Another condition of the certificate, a transportation plan, is also in the works, she said.
Finally, figuring out the scope of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Acquisition and Retention Plan is also underway.
“[This] is one of the most important conditions, and it must be done in partnership with Squamish Nation,” she wrote.
“This condition will guide development on the site, will help inform development of an Indigenous Tourism Plan, and most importantly will help establish protocols to protect and preserve Squamish Nation traditional knowledge of the project area).”
Upon receiving queries from The Chief about the proposed extension, the District of Squamish didn’t offer up a new comment but pointed to an old statement issued by Mayor Karen Elliott last year.
“We recognize that this proponent needs local government support to move forward, and the District of Squamish has been very clear since the Environmental Assessment process on our outstanding concerns, not the least of which is the impact on the highway and the regional transportation network,” reads Elliott’s statement, made in October 2019.
“Other concerns stem from a lack of clear understanding of the socio-economic impact which was last assessed in 2010, the water supply and impacts on Paradise Valley residents, local real estate impacts and staff/affordable housing impacts. At the same time, we have requested fiscal impact assessments from the proponents, in particular to address commercial failure scenarios of the project, in order to...mitigate any negative impacts this development could have on future DOS taxpayers. A discussion about expanding the District’s boundary to include the project is premature until answers to our concerns are provided.”