Qualicum Beach is fourth local government to vote to Sue Big Oil

A small group of people standing outside Qualicum Beach municipal offices

For Immediate Release – February 8, 2024

Qualicum Beach, BC – The Township of Qualicum Beach Council voted yesterday, 4-1, to commit to work with other local governments to bring a class action lawsuit against global fossil fuel companies to recover a fair share of the township’s climate costs. Qualicum Beach’s commitment is contingent upon Council reviewing existing legal advice and on other local governments making similar pledges.

West Coast Environmental Law, Sue Big Oil – Qualicum Beach and other members of the Sue Big Oil campaign applauded Qualicum Beach’s climate leadership and its efforts to recover some of the millions of dollars of harm that the fossil fuel industry is causing the community.

“We are facing a massive bill for the measures needed to keep us safe from climate disasters, and it’s only going up,” noted Roy Collver, Qualicum Beach resident and head of the local chapter of Sue Big Oil.

“We cannot afford to let companies like Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil which have played a huge role in causing the climate crisis to make record-breaking profits without paying for any of the costs we’re experiencing. Approval for this motion should help to reassure the younger people of Qualicum Beach that they are not being abandoned – that there are many concerned people in the community actively working to help reduce the unfair burden that climate change will have on future generations.”

Qualicum Beach’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan identifies 31 Actions that the Town needs to take in the coming decade to keep its residents safe from climate impacts, which are expected to cost between $1.2 million and $13.9 million. In addition, the Town has seen flooding, damage to its waterfront and spent resources reducing wildfire risk.

“A class action lawsuit by local governments against the world’s largest fossil fuel companies is a fiscally responsible option for Qualicum Beach and other BC communities that are facing enormous costs as a direct result of climate change,” said Andrew Gage, Staff Lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law, who presented on Sue Big Oil to Qualicum Beach Council in November 2023.

“These companies knew as far back as the 1950s and 60s that their products would cause climate change, and yet they fought tooth and nail to prevent a societal shift away from fossil fuels, while raking in trillions of dollars in profits. It’s time they paid their fair share for the damage they’ve caused.”

Qualicum Beach joins the District of Squamish and the Townships of Gibsons and View Royal in committing to work together to bring a class action lawsuit against global fossil fuel companies for the costs of climate change. The Sue Big Oil campaign is endorsed by 39 organizations in BC and has volunteer action teams in communities throughout the province that are asking their local governments to join the action.


For more information, please contact:

Roy Collver | Roy Collver, Qualicum Beach Sue Big Oil action team leader
250.317.2283, hoth2o@shaw.ca

Andrew Gage| Staff Lawyer, West Coast Environmental Law
604-601-2506, agage@wcel.org

Fiona Koza| Climate Accountability Strategist, West Coast Environmental Law
604-684-7378, ext. 236, fkoza@wcel.org

Top photo: Sue Big Oil supporters outside Qualicum Beach municipal offices