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Squamish urged to ban bottled water



Members of the Squamish Climate Action Network (CAN) made a presentation to Squamish council to "Trust the Tap" by implementing a strategy to phase out the sale and purchase of bottled water in all spaces owned by the municipal government.

Bottled water is a commodity that undermines public faith in tap water and requires massive amounts of fossil fuels to manufacture and transport, said Don Lawrence, one of the Squamish CAN members.

The environmental group urged the district to improve access to public drinking water in all municipally-owned and operated locations, including government offices and buildings.

"Squamish has one of the best public drinking water systems in the world. As citizens, we request that our municipal government promote the drinking of safe, clean water from our public water system, currently managed and monitored by the District of Squamish." said Mark Shepherd, another member of the Squamish CAN.


Squamish suggests RGS solution

The District of Squamish has put forward a solution to a nagging problem it faces with the Squamish Lillooet Regional District.

The problem is a tiny section in the Regional Growth Strategy bylaw, but it's a section that fundamentally alters the roles and responsibilities of municipalities with respect to land use policy. Squamish believes that section 1.1 of the SLRD bylaw is proposed in such a way that it has the potential to usurp the autonomy of municipalities with regard to land use, with no regional or legislative benefits.

The principal concern with the wording of section 1.1 is that it "requires" that municipal Official Community Plans be "consistent" with the RGS settlement planning map.

This means that if Squamish wanted to amend its Official Community Plan for lands outside its settlement area, it would not be able to make the decision without the RGS amendment by SLRD board.

"If we have to go outside and settle our amendments outside the areas, we will have to go to the regional district. We believe this is wrong.  If we are going to amend our OCP, we should have the discretion to do that. Period," Councillor Doug Race said Tuesday.

Squamish has participated in the dispute resolution for four years and it has now proposed a rather simple solution to SLRD: delete that section.

"The land use planning decisions should be made by people who are selected by this community. It (the current RGS) undermined the ability of the elected officials of this area to make those decisions that we are elected to do," Councillor Patricia Heintzman said.


EAO responds to Squamish on GAS

The Environmental Assessment Office has updated Squamish on the the Garibaldi at Squamish (GAS) project.

The EAO expects to receive all working group comments on the draft assessment report within the next few days.

Following a review of those comments, it would be in a position to write to Garibaldi at Squamish Inc. to confirm when the timeline for review of the EA Application will resume and when EAO would refer the application to the ministers for their decision on issuance of a certificate.

"The comments provided in your April 22 letter will be considered fully as EAO completes the assessment report and refers the application to ministers." the letter states.


No RV parking beyond 30 days

The District of Squamish passed a bylaw that prohibits recreational vehicles in a recreational vehicle park for more than 30 consecutive days in any six-month period.

Councillor Paul Lalli was the sole councillor to oppose the resolution.

"We've heard from several RV park owners that said it's too limiting. They need longer stays to make their business flourish. The true RV business is really three to four months and after that there is no business. This is too narrow." he said.



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