What's in the wind?

Who cares about our air? The name “Squamish” in First Nations means “Mother of wind” and we certainly do have a mother wind that is both big and bold. This famous thermal attracts kite boarders and other wind sport enthusiasts to the area because it guarantees a predictable daily southerly inflow up Howe Sound and into Squamish.

Think of it as Mother Nature’s fan blowing up our beautiful and spectacular valley and into our homes.

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Port Mellon, a neighbouring community to Squamish, is being eyed by Vancouver for a new garbage burning incinerator. Burning garbage means that there will be emissions that contain mercury, dioxins and furans from burning plastics. Burning also creates what is called bottom ash, which is laden with lead and other heavy metals. This ash goes to landfills. According to the David Suzuki Foundation the ash is “sometimes twice the limited allowed for landfills.”

Who cares, really?

I care because burning garbage is a poor solution to a bigger problem and it creates toxic air pollution that will impact Squamish and communities in Howe Sound.

Now think about industry as a whole in Howe Sound, not isolated silos. Think about the proposed incinerator in Port Mellon combined with the proposed open pit mine in McNabb Creek, and now look really closely at the Woodfibre LNG proposal. Pollution created from these proponents, combined or even individually, will be channeled through our so called “Mother wind” stream and into our lungs as we bike, hike and play.

Deep breath.

To me, the term “global village” means simply “What happens over there impacts us over here.” We all share the same global backyard. And for this reason, we should all care about the air we breathe, about our watershed, about our ocean and marine life, and about the true cost-to-benefit ratio of heavy industry expanding in Howe Sound.

We need to take a stand and protect Howe Sound and Squamish. Lion’s Bay cares about the future of Howe Sound and voted NO against LNG. West Vancouver mayor and council voted unanimously against Woodfibre LNG, plus Gibsons and the Sunshine Coast is against it. The list is growing as word spreads and communities weigh in early knowing that despite more research, more studies, more dialogue, more reports, that the results are ALREADY in loud and clear: the cons outweigh the pros.

Our neighbouring villages have spoken. It’s time for Squamish to weigh in and help SAVE Howe Sound… again.

Michelle Neilson,

Squamish, BC

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@ Copyright Squamish Chief


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