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Ledcor, after insisting for months a license was just around the corner, still does not have a water or land use license in the Ashlu. They are telling anyone who will listen that approval is just around the corner. Ledcor says that there will be jobs for people during construction, but the one man who has been camped at the foot of the Ashlu wanting to apply for the caretakers job, the only job the project will produce, hasnt heard a word.
As a community we have done a lot of reading. We read the Squamish Nations land use plans and we read the Squamish Nation maps which show the Ashlu as a Wild Spirit Place to be protected forever. The leadership in the Squamish Nation has recently been pushing hard for the Ashlu development as they say they will be participating in the economy in a private relationship with Ledcor.
The people in the Community of the Upper Squamish Valley care about the people of the Squamish Nation, as we are each others nearest neighbours. We need to create frameworks, which are sustainable and which work for all of us. We rely on what we read and what we have come to know and we consider protecting the natural Ashlu our highest priority. We expect our First Nations neighbours to protect the Ashlu for their children too.
The opportunities for sustainable development are abundant in our area and with that in mind we do not want the Ashlu bargained away by the provincial government or the water polluted or the air made hotter and drier, and we certainly do not want to have to beg NAFTA for some electricity or a cup of muddy water in the future.
The people of the Upper Squamish Valley are opposed to the IPP on Ashlu because we have educated ourselves. We believe that anyone given the facts would agree, unless they are motivated by money. Part of the deal with one of Ledcors partners involves doing something with the incredible amount of rock that would be removed from the mountains. In another classic Ledcor move they propose that instead of trucking all of the rock through our community they will stockpile it north of us and give it away for free. Thats right, free gravel just north of our quiet community, on a dead end road! This most recent change suggested by Ledcor would create utter chaos, like an open honey jar in a room full of bears, not to mention the disturbance of stockpiled rocks to the non-metaphorical bears and other wildlife living just north of us.