Response to Federal Oil Spill Announcement

MEDIA RELEASE, December 3, 2013

DECEMBER 3, 2013

VICTORIA – Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt and Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver today announced a new report regarding Canada’s oil spill preparedness and response.

Caitlyn Vernon, Sierra Club BC’s campaign director said this in response:

“We agree that improvements are needed to deal with existing tanker traffic, however, no amount of safety precautions can justify the extreme risk of increasing tanker traffic on B.C.’s coast.”

“A recent study commissioned by the B.C. government showed that effective spill response is impossible much of the time on the B.C. coast. Even under the best and most accessible of conditions, unlike what would be found in the Great Bear Rainforest on B.C.’s north coast, 10 to 15 per cent clean-up is the industry standard, leaving the rest of the oil behind in the marine ecosystem, poisoning coastal and marine life and the communities that depend upon it.”

“The proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway oil tanker route runs directly through critical habitat for humpback whales, as identified by the federal government’s newly-released humpback whale recovery strategy. The recovery strategy requires the federal government to legally protect humpback whale habitat from threats such ship traffic and the risk of toxic spills. Protecting these at-risk whales is incompatible with expanding oil tanker traffic on the BC coast.”

“Regardless of who pays for oil spill clean-up efforts, it is British Columbians who will live with the consequences.”

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Caitlyn Vernon, Campaigns Director | Sierra Club BC
250.896.3500 |

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