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Lululemon founder builds huge dock in B.C. despite backlash

Hailey Montgomery
Digital Reporter

Sunday, October 8, 2017, 1:57 PM - Construction of a massive dock on Chip Wilson's Sunshine Coast property in now underway, to the dismay of his neighbours as well as environmentalists concerned with potential habitat destruction of a protected bird species.

Known as one of the richest people in Canada, and for controversial comments about which women's body type's were meant to wear Lululemon yoga pants, Wilson was quickly met with irritation from locals - particularly those set to be viewing point of the expansive construction site.

The former Lululemon CEO and Vouncouver-based billionaire first made an initial proposal to build a massive dock on his Sunshine Coast, B.C. property, near Middlepoint Bight, in 2015. CBC reports that at that time it was slated to be around 2,500 m2 in size, with a 3,000 m2 breakwater to protect the structure from dangerous storms.  At the time, the Vancouver Sun reported that the proposal was objected by local planning council and the Sunshine Coast Regional District.

An assessment from BC environmental consulting firm Hemmera Envirotech Inc. from September 2015 says the dock, to be constructed by Marine Island Marine Construction services, will be about 448 m2 in surface area. 

Image courtesy of Hemmera Envirotech Incorporated

Wilson's neighbour Arnhild Hognestad told CBC News that construction equipment has already become an eyesore, and that other neighbours were hoping the project, approved by the B.C. government in March, would be cancelled.

An assessment by Hemmera into the potential impact of the project on the marbled murrulet - an at risk bird species - concluded that "the proposed is not considered to have an adverse affect," and that the specie's population should not be reduced given that builders complied with proposed changes to the positioning and materials of the dock outlined in the report.

The report notes that the project is not being build on any legal conservation land for the birds, and will not impact their nestling habitat.

The CBC says that Sunshine Coast residents hope that the province's newly elected N.D.P. can offer some hope that the project will be halted.

Source: CBC  | The Vancouver Sun

With files from Cheryl Santa Maria

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