Our society is built on treating people with respect, and any action that goes against this is not right.
It makes me sad to see a big company like FortisBC trying to have too much power over important decisions. I want to speak out against the troubling bullying tactics by FortisBC around the construction of the new high-pressure pipeline going through the heart of Squamish and under our beloved estuary.
For the construction of this pipeline, FortisBC plans to hire 600 temporary workers in Squamish over a period of three to five years, potentially more if the project is delayed.
They are proposing a workcamp near the former Quest University to accommodate these workers.
The proposal is currently under review by the District, and a decision is expected in late September.
Recently, FortisBC seems to be creating the threat that if their proposal is not approved, they will seek alternative accommodations for their workers within our rental market, which is simply baseless, as Squamish is currently facing housing crisis with few available vacancies.
These words from Fortis are not just business tricks — they are ways to force the decision.
This shows a lack of care and respect for the community. We should question whether a project is trustworthy if it tries to benefit itself by hurting the community it claims to help.
We also shouldn’t lose the big picture that this project is putting a new fossil fuel infrastructure, which will be locked for the decades to come. We are in the era of “Global Boiling.”
After seeing this year’s heat wave catastrophes across the globe, nobody in their right mind can deny that climate change is real and it feels bonkers to me that we are wasting so much of District’s time and resources on this decision to put in a new gas pipeline.
Is it worth doing this just to make a corporation richer that has no stake in our Squamish well-being? That’s the last thing we should be doing! Instead, District could invest their time in making Squamish climate resilient and addressing real issues like the housing crisis.
I’m asking the District of Squamish and the community members to not fall for these mean tactics. Once made, such a decision to give in to Fortis cannot be reversed. Please, contact the District and insist that wise, holistic foresight guide their thinking.