Woodfibre LNG is "bulldozing democracy"
October 8, 2022
Your social media has been weaponized
I'm really angry about all of the attack ads that have targeted councillors and candidates with disinformation and lies.
These campaigns are highly sophisticated and designed to manipulate people on hot-button topics like parking, development, and other issues.
Earlier this year, the National Observer exposed the link between Squamish Voices and Canada Proud. This anonymous astroturf group managed by Jeff Ballingall's Mobilize Media Group has spent more than $78,000 on online attack ads and mailouts.
Who is paying for these attack ads? What is their goal? Why are they attacking some councillors and not others?
These fake grassroots groups are popping up in communities across Canada and undermining trust in local government. We're also seeing a number of fake facebook profiles created to influence public opinion.
The latest attack page, Squamish Now, has been taken down after breaking ElectionsBC limits on advertising.
Woodfibre LNG "was covertly behind the website Squamish Forward."
An investigative reporter has uncovered that Woodfibre LNG paid to set up Squamish Forward.
Remember the petition by Squamish Forward to stop the District of Squamish from borrowing money to upgrade critical infrastructure and move the public works yard out of the floodplain?
That stunt has cost Squamish taxpayers half a million dollars.
Woodfibre LNG needs a sweetheart deal on taxes
In 2014, My Sea to Sky stopped a pro-LNG council from accepting a $2 million tax agreement with Woodfibre LNG. In 2015, taxes were assessed at $5–7 million.
We estimate that Woodfibre LNG should be paying between $10–20 million a year, as the project cost has tripled, and land values have gone up immensely.
We suspect this is why Woodfibre LNG tried to undermine trust in local government and influence the upcoming election: Woodfibre LNG needs a pro-LNG council that will give them a tax deal and all the permits they need.
Dirty developers and dirty industry are undermining our democracy. It's disgusting, it's reprehensible, and we cannot let them win with these underhanded tactics.
Will you vote for climate leaders?
This local election is critical, and who we elect will shape the future of Squamish for decades to come. Here's what you need to do:
Step 1: Get informed
Where do candidates stand on the issues we care about? Check out the candidates and the issues tabs.
Step 2: Vote!
Advanced voting has started, and general voting day is October 15th.
When you vote, only vote for the candidates you want elected. If that is one mayor and three councillors, only put down those four names.
For council, the top six candidates with the most votes are elected, so if you vote for someone that you don't really want elected, that may bump your preferred candidates out of the top six.
Don't let dirty developers and dirty industry win this election. Please vote! Please ask all your friends and family to vote!
Executive Director, My Sea to Sky
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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?