Skip to content

Woodfibre LNG marine transit plan sparks debate among Squamish council

Council members discussed different avenues of collaboration with WLNG, as the project approaches the construction phase.

Recent information about Woodfibre LNG’s marine transit plan sparked some debate among Squamish council members at their first meeting in 2024.

At the Jan. 9 special business meeting, Squamish council received a staff report on Woodfibre LNG’s (WLNG) Construction Marine Transportation Management and Monitoring Plan (MTMMP), which detailed feedback from District staff. 

WLNG’s plan is meant to satisfy conditions of its provincial Environmental Assessment Certificate and  Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw’s (Squamish Nation) Environmental Assessment Agreement, and the federal decision statement.

Feedback will be sent to the Environmental Assessment Office and Woodfibre LNG.

A recent development in WLNG’s plan is that Squamish-based workers will be ferried from Site B to WLNG during the construction phase. Site B, also referred to as West-Barr Lease in the plan, is on the east side of Mamquam Blind Channel at the south end where the channel opens into Howe Sound.

Kate Mulligan, the municipal director of major projects industrial, said the ferry vessel will have space for approximately 100 to 200 passengers, but there was yet to be an indication of how many workers would be travelling daily during the construction phase.

Furthermore, Sarah McJannet, a planner with the District, said staff are seeking more information about docking the vessel at this site as the District is also looking at dredging options in the blind channel.

Feedback on the plan varied widely among council members.

Some council members pushed for increased public consultation. Moreover, some council members lamented the lack of time given for District staff to provide feedback, as staff were originally given a two-week period for feedback in July which they were unable to meet.

“My bigger issues are with the overall process of bringing this project into production and it disturbs me that we're regularly given inadequate time windows for feedback,” said Coun. Lauren Greenlaw. “And in this case, I believe we were given 14 days, which is a ludicrously short period of time for an organization that both manages a municipality and all its functions.”

However, the report notes that WLNG considers the plan a “living document” and the District has taken part in recent marine user group meetings in October and December 2023 with WLNG to discuss the plan.

“Given the nature of this living document, the District anticipates this feedback will be considered and resulting revisions to the Construction MTMMP will be made,” reads the staff report.

Other comments from council members waded into how they should be approaching the project.

“We should try to be proactive rather than reactive in our approach to this whole project,” said Coun. Eric Andersen. “And I'm not pointing fingers at staff, but all of us. We all need to be thinking this way. We're reacting to this EAO process. Well, that's not the only thing we should be doing. We should be working proactively towards obtaining benefits for the community for the waterfront.”

Andersen also gave the example of collaborating with WLNG and the province to improve the Site B and Highway 99 intersection, which he highlighted as a “serious safety concern.”

“It's a serious issue and it's going to cost a lot of dollars. And we sure could use their help and collaboration,” he said.

Coun. Jenna Stoner later responded to Andersen by saying WLNG is “welcome to come to the table and take action and they haven't. They continue to forge ahead on short timelines and not bring other people along.”

Nevertheless, Stoner believed there was still room for collaboration with WLNG.

“I think to me, one of the opportunities here is dredging at the Mamquam Blind Channel. I'm encouraged to hear that they are part of the conversation if not part of the working group yet. … My only comment would be to reinforce that language of the ongoing work that the District is doing and the opportunity for collaboration should Woodfibre be interested in showing up and actually doing something for our community,” she continued.

Coun. John French said he didn’t want to wade much into the proactive versus reactive comments.

“But I will point out that Woodfibre LNG is not using Darrell Bay and has basically, it appears, walked away from that site,” he said. “There's a reason and we're the reason. [It’s] totally my opinion, but I feel that there were so many roadblocks put up by the District of Squamish at Darrell Bay, that ultimately, those roadblocks forced Woodfibre LNG to find different solutions for their shipping needs.”

If interested in learning more, please review the Construction MTMMP or the meeting on the District’s website at


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks