September 20, 2013
The Sunshine Coast Regional District put forward the following emergency resolution to delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities Conference taking place at the Vancouver Convention Centre this week. The resolution passed quickly by the delegates Friday September 20th, 2013. In meetings with Minister Thomson, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Minister Thomson said a moratorium on existing projects would not be supported, but he will commit staff resources to start discussions about planning for Howe Sound. Minister Thomson did state to the 18 Municipal and Regional District representatives present in the room, that he personally did not want to see the recovery of the marine life in Howe Sound go backwards. MLA Jordan Sturdy, West Vancouver, Sea to Sky was present in the room.
This is excellent news for Howe Sound. Municipal leaders around Howe Sound are meeting next on Wednesday September 25th for the Howe Sound Community Forum. Planning for Howe Sound will take up most of the day’s agenda. Over 50 people will be attending the meeting being held at the Gleneagles Community Centre hosted by the District of West Vancouver.
Howe Sound Management Plan Sunshine Coast Regional District
WHEREAS all local governments around Howe Sound are currently dealing with recent multiple referrals and applications for gravel, liquid natural gas, coal and bitumen;
AND WHEREAS Howe Sound is a sensitive, ecologically significant area of unparalleled scenic beauty, and provides important ecosystem services for various First Nations, senior and local governments, and is without a land and marine use plan to facilitate a coordinated approach to land and marine use planning;
AND WHEREAS there has been no discussion between the local governments and the Squamish First Nation regarding the cumulative potential impacts;
AND WHEREAS there is a growing concern regarding the future of Howe Sound as commercial, industrial and recreational uses expand without an approach for assessing the cumulative impacts of those increased uses, thereby putting recent progress of significant ecosystem recovery at risk:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM urge the provincial government to support the development of a Comprehensive Management Plan for Howe Sound that facilitates a coordinated land and marine use planning process between First Nations, senior and local governments, and other local bodies to ensure ongoing recovery and responsible land use planning within Howe Sound.