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Media Statement: October 24th, 2016
Bella Bella Spill a Wake up Call on Failed “World Class” Containment
For immediate release

Victoria, B.C. – “The provincial and federal government’s ability to respond to spills is nowhere near ‘world class’ — it is not even passingly adequate,” says Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay – Gordon Head and leader of the B.C. Green Party.

“The diesel spill near Bella Bella, B.C. has been ongoing since the 13th and they can’t even keep a containment boom around the leak. What’s even worse is that a spill response boat responding to the accident also sank. You literally can’t make this stuff up.”

The Heiltsuk Nation Chief Marilyn Slett reported that the containment booms around the sunken tug had failed in the face of continuing storms and waves as high as three metres, and the spill had spread. That was later confirmed by the owner of the sunken tug, Kirby Offshore Marine.

“This is devastating to the Heiltsuk Nation and everyone who lives in the region reliant on the coast for sustenance and income,” says Andrew Weaver “This spill, as well as the bunker oil leak in Vancouver Harbour that closed beaches, demonstrate that it is impossible for the provincial and federal governments to meet all of the five conditions set by the province regarding pipeline expansion.

“The people who live in the Bella Bella region deserve to know how this spill will impact their home and health, and how they will be compensated. They are on the front lines trying to save the clam beds and prevent the damage from spreading. The provincial government needs to step up and take an active stake.

“While the news that marine pilots will now be required on all vessels transporting fuel is welcome, this retroactive response clearly demonstrates spill prevention is not the priority it should be.


Media Contact
Mat Wright – Press Secretary, Andrew Weaver MLA
250 216 3382


  1. maurice shapiro-
    October 25, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    There is no “world class” response that can contain a real spill. Only in their dreams. We have seen world class and it finds itself severely lacking.

  2. Lois-
    October 25, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    How did the spill occur in the first place? A little tug boat has a different response to weather conditions than a large tanker. It will be sad if damage does occur.

    • October 26, 2016 at 1:13 am

      This is the reason why there was a tanker ban on the west coast Containing spills because of the storms and treacherous condition make containment near impossible . On a bigger issue are some Canadians causing extensive damage to our environment with negligent environmental assessment of corporate agendas What action does the government of Canada intend to take as a result of the International Criminal courts commitment to prosecute environmental crimes Chris Arsenault @chrisarsenaul Thomson Reuters Foundation http://tinyurl.com/jkp6cru
      Is the Site C dam an environmental crime as it has been determined NOT to be NECESSARY

  3. Michele MacDonald-
    October 24, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    SHAME on Chrusty Clark AND PM Trudeau :( How can you sleep???

  4. October 24, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Please Prime Minister Trudeau, and Premiers, listen to the science, the dramatic reports of climate changes, and disasters, and become a part of the group of leaders who care about the future of this Planet, for everyone’s sake. Fossil fuels are just that, fossils. This is 2016!!!

  5. Tim McGrath-
    October 24, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Failed containment based on weather! HELLO, WE LIVE ON THE WEST COAST, of course there is going to be weather! Have the oil companies who designed this so called world class spill response ever been on the west coast? Or do they just sit in their towers in Calgary and Toronto?

    You are right Andrew Weaver, you literally cannot make this stuff up!

  6. Bob Furber-
    October 24, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    This confirms there is no way to contain an oil spill during a storm even when the [diesel] oil floats. But, there is absolutely no way to contain a dilbit spill even under ideal conditions.

    And, even if accidents can be reduced, they will continue to happen. Imagine if this had been a super-tanker instead of a little tug-boat!