Squamish council takes a step toward joining the Sue Big Oil campaign

Date: October 24, 2023
Complete Article: The Squamish Chief


The District of Squamish took a step towards adding its name to those of other B.C. municipalities as part of the Sue Big Oil campaign.

At an Oct. 24 committee of the whole meeting, council members voted 5-2 in favour of joining a class action lawsuit against oil companies, pledging $1 per resident or about $25,000 in doing so in the 2025 budget. Mayor Armand Hurford and councillors Lauren Greenlaw, Jenna Stoner, Chris Pettingill and John French voted in favour of the motion.

“We need bold action and leadership,” said Greenlaw. “This is the most important moment in human history, and we need action.”

Greenlaw said some municipal reports note that a one-metre sea level rise could displace nearly 60% of the Squamish population and result in over $400 million in damages.

“And that is just flooding. We’re not talking about fires; we’re not talking about heat domes,” she continued. “This is a massive cost, and I think we need as fast of action as we can have.”

Andrew Gage, a lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law, told council that typically, when a class action lawsuit reaches about $500,000 or more raised in funds, then it can take the next step, which is a certification stage. That stage asks a judge to certify whether or not the case should proceed as a class action.

If council ratifies this decision at a future regular business meeting, then it would join Gibsons and View Royal as the other municipalities that have joined the campaign.

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