Squamish is a boom town that sometimes seems to be on the brink of bust. A community of self-starters, we have a long history of pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps, and we’re proud of it. We may have been founded on the forestry and mining industries but when those longtime companies left town, we reinvented ourselves as a tourism destination. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that we’re still a vulnerable community.
My company is a great example of a Squamish start-up. BC Marine Logistics provides emergency response, safety services and training in both public and private sectors. My employees and I prosper when Squamish prospers. We suffer when industry leaves town – especially as more and more residents move in.
Our secret is out – Squamish is an amazing place to live and work. Sadly, we can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube on that one. More and more commuters are moving here, and the new faces and new families bring a great energy to the town – but there needs to be opportunities for us to work right here in Squamish as well. You should be able to live AND work here without having to drive into Vancouver every day. All we can do now is be open to the economic growth that must coincide with, and support our population’s growth.
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Let’s face it: we can’t just be a tourist town. We’ve seen the impact of that over the past year. While professional services and industry managed to stay operational, our businesses in hospitality and tourism took a huge hit. Squamish’s strength has always been in our responsible resource development. We must continue to embrace our core industries: forestry, mining, shipping, etc. so that they will stay strong for the next generation. We need to encourage responsible growth, with an open mind, and thoroughly explore all potential opportunities to expand our economic diversity.
No matter what some people may say online or to their neighbours, there is a way forward here for these industries – the people and spirit of Squamish won’t accept anything less than the best for our town.
We aren’t just a pretty face. Squamish’s marine environment isn’t all about recreation and beauty, it’s also the brains and brawn of our economy. From forestry, to wind sports tourism, to LNG – our waterways are the pathway to emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever. No one knows our community and our environment better than we do here in Squamish, and we are in an incredible position to put that knowledge to work to secure a future we can be proud of for generations to come.
A stronger, more diverse economy is possible for Squamish. Our job as proud members of this community is to work together in a positive and productive way, and to move this town forward!
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