The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Before you click away, we have something to ask you…

Do you value independent journalism that focuses on the issues that matter? Do you think Canada needs more in-depth, fact-based reporting? So do we. If you’d like to be part of the solution, we’d love it if you joined us in working on it.

The Tyee is an independent, paywall-free, reader-funded publication. While many other newsrooms are getting smaller or shutting down altogether, we’re bucking the trend and growing, while still keeping our articles free and open for everyone to read.

The reason why we’re able to grow and do more, and focus on quality reporting, is because our readers support us in doing that. Over 5,000 Tyee readers chip in to fund our newsroom on a monthly basis, and that supports our rockstar team of dedicated journalists.

Join a community of people who are helping to build a better journalism ecosystem. You pick the amount you’d like to contribute on a monthly basis, and you can cancel any time.

Help us make Canadian media better by joining Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.

Trudeau Won't Say Yay or Nay to Woodfibre LNG

Liberal leader talks up marine protection in West Van, but won't weigh in on riding's hot debate.

By Bob Mackin 11 Sep 2015 |

North Vancouver-based journalist Bob Mackin, a regular contributor to The Tyee, has reported for local, regional, national and international media outlets since 1990. Find his Tyee articles here.

This national election coverage is possible thanks to the generous financial support of Tyee Builders. Please consider joining.

With English Bay as the backdrop, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau stood on the sun-drenched pier in West Vancouver's John Lawson Park yesterday to announce his party's plans to protect the marine environment -- but refused to take a clear stance on a big marine environment debate currently raging in the potential swing riding.

"A Liberal government will make protecting our oceans a priority," Trudeau declared.

In his speech, Trudeau outlined a four-point plan: to formalize a moratorium on crude oil tankers off the North Coast, reinstate $40 million cut from ocean science and monitoring, protect five per cent of marine and coastal areas by 2017 and 10 per cent by 2020, and work with the provinces and aboriginal people to co-manage oceans.

A fifth point in an online news release, which Trudeau omitted from his speech, said the Liberals would re-establish thorough environmental assessments, review Conservative government amendments to the Fisheries Act and modernize safeguards to fish habitats.

Trudeau made no mention at all about the debate in the West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea-to-Sky Country riding over the proposed $1.7-billion Woodfibre LNG plant near Squamish. The plant would produce 2.1 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas a year and showcase Trudeau ally and B.C. Premier Christy Clark's ambition to build an LNG industry on the west coast.

Opponents worry the LNG terminal at the repurposed pulp and paper mill would affect the water and put Howe Sound at risk of an LNG tanker spill. The project is in the middle of a B.C.-led environmental assessment review process.

Conservative incumbent John Weston is for the project, challengers Ken Melamed (Green) and Larry Koopman (NDP) are against, and Liberal Pam Goldsmith-Jones, the former West Vancouver mayor, is on the fence, apparently still listening to questions and concerns. The council that she led from 2005 to 2011 voted against the project twice in 2014.

Neither the Squamish Nation nor District of Squamish support the project, unless their lengthy lists of conditions are met.

No definitive position

So, this reporter asked, does Trudeau and his Liberal party have a policy on Woodfibre LNG?

"One of the things that I have committed to since the beginning of this campaign is listening to Canadians and working with them to ensure that we're building a better future that understands you can't make a choice between what's good for the environment and what's good for the economy, they need to go together," Trudeau said.

"Mr. Harper, for 10 years, hasn't understood that and hasn't acted on that. That is why the Liberal Party is committed to being a better partner to provinces, better partner to municipalities and more understanding of Canadians' concerns. Before projects get built, they have to acquire social license. Peoples' concerns have to be aired, we have to make sure that we're moving forward in both partnership with indigenous peoples, approval of local communities and a reassurance by Canadians that the highest environmental and scientific standards will be met, and that's what we pledge to do, because ultimately governments don't grant permits, communities grant permission."

Pressed further for his position on Woodfibre LNG, Trudeau answered: "Canada needs to develop its resources in a way that is sustainable and responsible. Canadians that I talk to everywhere know that we need to create good jobs and a strong future while at the same time we are creating strong communities, protecting the environment, our air, our water, our land for future generations. That's why there is a process around projects such as LNG proposals that we are watching and that we are supporting and we are committed to strengthening where necessary."

"So," this reporter asked again, "you have no position?"

Trudeau concluded: "We're going to be having debates in the coming weeks, I look forward to you attending those as well."  [Tyee]

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free


The Barometer

Tyee Poll: Are You Preparing for the Next Climate Disaster?

Take this week's poll