While it really isn’t our place to say whether or not our project is an election issue (“Letter: Woodfibre an election issue,” Oct. 4), what we can do is provide factual information about our project.
Here are some examples:
Woodfibre LNG has paid more than $1 million in property tax to the District of Squamish since taking ownership of the Woodfibre site in February 2015. We’ve paid $1 million in property tax for a site that receives zero municipal services.
What hasn’t been decided yet is how much property tax we’ll pay once our LNG facility is in operation about four and a half years from now. We first contacted the District of Squamish four years ago with a property tax proposal ($2 million a year, plus annual increases), which was turned down. The last time we contacted the District of Squamish on the matter was in June 2018. So discussions have been happening on property tax, and of course the amount will be established by the time Woodfibre LNG is in full operation, about four and a half years from now.
As long-time residents of Squamish know, Darrell Bay was used to transfer Woodfibre pulp mill employees to and from the Woodfibre site.
What Woodfibre LNG would like to do is rent the lower two parking lots of Darrell Bay (not all of the parking lots) from the District of Squamish to use as a transportation hub for workers during the four-year construction phase of the project. The reason we want to park buses in the lower parking lots of Darrell Bay is so the up to 650 workers we’ll need during the height of construction don’t have to rely on their personal vehicles to get to and from work, no matter if they live in Squamish or somewhere else in the Sea to Sky Corridor. We’ve also committed to free-up as many of those parking spots as possible for users like the Sky to Sky Gondola when we don’t need them — like on weekends and holidays.
What we would also like to do is lease the foreshore of Darrell Bay from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) for four years. It’s an area that is currently used exclusively by MoTI. Discussions are currently underway with MoTI, District of Squamish and Woodfibre LNG about whether or not shared use of the foreshore of Darrell Bay is possible.
Any suggestion that our floating storage tanks would be unsafe is false. The storage tanks will meet the requirements of the BC Oil and Gas Commission, and will be designed and built to Canadian standards as set by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and Technical Safety BC (formerly BC Safety Authority), as well as to international standards as set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code).
It’s important to keep in mind that while LNG may be relatively new to some people in the Sea to Sky Corridor, LNG has been shipped globally without a major spill at sea, for nearly 60 years.
While activists may claim otherwise, the LNG shipping industry’s impressive safety record is no accident — and these very high standards and commitment to continuous improvement won’t suddenly stop when an LNG ship enters Howe Sound.
Associate vice president, corporate communications for Woodfibre LNG