May 21, 2014
The Social Licence has been defined as existing when a project has the ongoing approval within the local community and other stakeholders, ongoing approval or broad social acceptance and, most frequently, as ongoing acceptance.
To date, the Burnco Gravel Mine at McNab Creek, the Gambier Island Woodlots, the Woodfibre LNG project that includes processing and shipping Liquefied natural Gas in Howe Sound, and the possible incineration of Metro Vancouver’s waste at Port Mellon do not have broad social acceptance. Our opinion is not scientific, but is based on ongoing feedback and interaction with the many stakeholders and First Nations groups around Howe Sound.
It is almost one year ago that 150 boats and approximately 700 people converged on the waters of Howe Sound by McNab Creek. It was a glorious day to celebrate the recovery and beauty of Howe Sound. It was also a time to realize this Howe Sound, so close , so special is under threat of heavy industry returning to the Sound with multiple proposed projects driven by the province. The many forums, petitions, letter writing, comments back on environmental assessments have expressed the concerns of the majority of people who live work and play around Howe Sound. A compilation of the collective values of Howe Sound Community’s plus the values expressed at various Forums over the past two years make it clear, it is socially and economically unacceptable to put the super natural value of Howe Sound at risk. Each of these projects will harm this area and the cumulative effects of all these projects is a serious threat.
What efforts have proponents and the province gone to in order to build trust, credibility and legitimacy? Very little and certainly not enough. In the meantime, groups like continue to form and more people are engaging in order to express their concerns and disapproval of these projects. On May 14th, the Sea to Sky Gondola officially opened. This investment in “Adventure by Nature” received high rating for obtaining the social licence to proceed. Congratulations!