May 06, 2005 Features & Images » Feature Story

Lyle Fenton, NDP 

A life-long resident of Squamish, Lyle Fenton served as a Squamish councillor from 1996 to 1999 and has remained active on various issues through his involvement with the water caucus of the B.C. Environmental Network.


Fenton, 53, is a welder/steel fabricator and hospital maintenance worker. He is married and a father of three.

His website is:

Pique: Why are you running?

Lyle Fenton: Well, this is home and I donÕt really like whatÕs happened here in the last four years with the Liberal government dismantling social services and the sort of wholesale sell off of our public assets, resources, and the way that they seem to have a disregard for who they hurt in the process. And really, if you want to look a little deeper, itÕs all being done in a manner that gives the U.S. and the large multi-nationals control, in a way that we most likely wonÕt get back, even if there is a change of government down the road. And I find that quite frightening, really.

Pique: What do you see the role of the MLA being?

LF: Looking after those things that are precious to our society here in B.C. as well as in this riding, and health care, education are some of the things at the top of the list. But thereÕs things like B.C. Hydro, one of the biggest economic generators in the province, thatÕs literally being legislated over to the private sector. Again itÕs international interests, some of whom they wonÕt tell us who they are. Plus issues within the corridor that need to be dealt with in a more equitable manner, a manner of inclusion, rather than making a deal behind the scenes and announcing it later.

Pique: What do you see as the issues in the corridor?

LF: ThereÕs quite a few, it depends where you are. The health care issue: a politician of any stripe that tells you you can have private health care, and just some of it, is wrong. WeÕve had treaties signed, such as NAFTA, and now the free trade of the Americas, the GATT. And weÕre safe protecting our health care like we have it in Canada. Sure we need to fix it, tune it up, but weÕre safe as long as itÕs public. Once we start going private, you open the door to the American companies who have been trying like heck to get in here for a long time. WeÕll have a two-tiered system: if you have money youÕll get health care; if you donÕt you wonÕt.

Pique: How about in this area, Whistler, Pemberton, are there particular issues?

LF: In Whistler-Pemberton weÕve seen these independent power projects, and again theyÕve had minimal input or planned structure as far as looking at them all and deciding whatÕs best for the area and where they should go and shouldnÕt go. These people were waiting with water licences before the last election, just waiting. After the last election they knew exactly what they were going to do. And theyÕre pushing these through as fast as they can. And weÕve seen some of the conflicts that have arisen. This kind of dialogue has to happen up front, and it has to happen in the public interests.

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