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Ledcor tries to build consensus for hydro project

Residents of Upper Squamish want Ashlu River altered



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"So they’ll endure one summer of having more trucks."

Currently Ledcor is in a series of meetings with the residents providing information and looking for ideas on benefits that the company could provide to the community.

Among the benefits that have been suggested are:

• a playground or basketball court near the North Vancouver Outdoor School;

• a swimming pond at the upper end of the Ashlu delta; and

• a fire suppression system and organization of a volunteer fire department for the Upper Squamish area.

"When you ask people what amenities they would like, that changes their thinking and they think ‘well gee, wouldn’t it be nice if we all had paved driveways or if the river were dyked or we had a firehall,’" said Rankin.

"Then all of a sudden you lose your focus when the focus needs to be that the community is standing up and saying ‘just don’t do this project.’ So if they were good corporate citizens they’d listen to the community and they’d buzz off and drop their application. But they’re not at all. They’re actually attacking us left, right and centre."

The $80 million project has already received a series of approvals from various agencies.

A contract with B.C. Hydro is in place to purchase the electricity for 20 years.

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District must give an approval in order for the project to move ahead. Earlier this year the project went to a public hearing through the SLRD but after new information came to light, a second public hearing was scheduled for the fall.

"The SLRD is still one that hasn’t made their decision and Land and Water B.C. has not issued the conditional water license or the land tenure yet," said Boychuk.

"It’s not fully approved yet by any means but it’s much closer than it ever has been before."

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