The boat that shouldn't float

June 1, 2024
Tracey Saxby

Woodfibre LNG's floating work camp is being reconsidered by council on June 4, 2024. Can you join us?

A recent letter from Woodfibre LNG to the District of Squamish, offering to increase its security deposit for the floating work camp from $2 million to $10 million succeeded in enticing Councillor Andrew Hamilton to propose that council reconsider its decision to deny the Temporary Use Permit for Woodfibre LNG's "floatel."

Councillor Hamilton appears to believe that an additional $8 million for the security deposit will somehow improve accountability for Woodfibre LNG. But there are no clear accountability mechanisms for Woodfibre LNG's floating work camp.

Eight million dollars is a drop in the bucket for a multi-billion dollar fossil fuel export company, primarily owned by the notorious billionaire, Sukanto Tanoto, whose companies have been credibly accused of human rights abuses and environmental destruction.

Despite strong community opposition, council voted 4-3 to reconsider a one-year temporary use permit for Woodfibre LNG's floating work camp, with the vote scheduled for this coming Tuesday on June 4 (see the agenda).

WATCH ME SPEAK TO COUNCIL (5 minutes at 2:11)




Undermining due process

It is highly unusual for council to reconsider its decisions. Woodfibre LNG is trying to circumvent and undermine a democratic decision making process.

A Temporary Use Permit (TUP) is a short-term rezoning. While the Woodfibre site is zoned as I-3 General Industrial, it is not zoned for housing. The proposed floating work camp does not comply with the Official Community Plan or the current zoning. If it did, a Temporary Use Permit would not be required.

As Woodfibre LNG notes in its letter, “The only issue before council is whether it should permit a temporary residential use at the site to permit workers to reside there.”

After listening to 6 hours of oral submissions, and receiving hundreds of written submissions through the public hearing process, the District of Squamish Council voted on April 30 to deny a temporary use permit for housing at the Woodfibre site.

The Local Government Act dictates that Council must not receive new information between a public hearing and decision. If they do, the decision may be invalidated. Woodfibre LNG's offer to increase the security deposit is new information.

Woodfibre LNG has an opportunity to do the right thing: to provide the information and complete the assessments that are essential to properly evaluate whether this floating work camp is in the best interests of the community of Squamish, and safe for Woodfibre LNG's workers.

Instead, Woodfibre LNG is showing its true colours by resorting to pressure tactics, misinformation, and threats of litigation.

The onus is on the District of Squamish as a regulator to ensure it has thorough and adequate information prior to making a decision and to ensure its decision is reasonable based on facts, not promises.

No one else is looking out for the best interests of Squamish except our local elected leaders. Not the Provincial or Federal Regulators, and certainly not Woodfibre LNG.


Tell council to do the right thing

It's time to make some noise.

Provincial and federal regulators failed us, and it has been left to local government to hold Woodfibre LNG accountable.

It's not too late for council to do the right thing, and to refer this decision back to staff to make Woodfibre LNG complete the assessments that should be required to keep our communities safe, and to keep Woodfibre LNG's own workers safe.



Can you join us on June 4?

Tell council to prioritize people, not projects.

WHEN: 5:30pm to 6pm, Tuesday June 4, 2024

WHERE: Squamish Municipal Hall
37955 2nd Ave, Squamish, BC


5:30pm | Gather for a mini-demonstration outside Squamish Municipal Hall

5:45pm | We will take photos and videos

6:00pm till late | Optional! Stay to attend the council meeting and hold a sign inside council chambers.



We are more determined than ever to hold Woodfibre LNG accountable. I hope to see you on Tuesday June 4.

Tracey Saxby

Executive Director, My Sea to Sky


My Sea to Sky is incredibly proud and grateful to say that we rely on the My Sea to Sky community for small donations that provide the majority of our funding. Since our launch in 2014, we have been funded through personal savings, family and friends; and powered by the passion of our volunteers. Your generous contribution will help us to run our critical campaigns to defend, protect, and restore Howe Sound. Can you chip in?