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Media Release: November 7th, 2016
Andrew Weaver Responds to the National Oceans Protection Plan
For Immediate Release

Victoria, B.C. – “Though weak on details, I am supportive of the initiatives outlined in the National Oceans Protection Plan includes,” says Andrew Weaver, Leader of the BC Green Party and MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head.

“I am especially grateful to see derelict vessels included in this plan. As an MLA for a coastal area, it is an ongoing problem I have struggled with in my riding. Currently, local, provincial and federal governments get mired in jurisdictional squabbles as the remediation process for derelict vessels is delayed, leaving boats to rust and leak on the foreshore.

“The Heiltsuk Nation has worked tirelessly to monitor and mitigate the impact of the recent diesel spill near Bella Bella. They stepped up to fill in where the provincial and federal governments were lacking and I’m glad to see the importance of co-management with Indigenous communities acknowledged in this plan.

“That said, I am worried this announcement will be held up as a justification for the approval future heavy oil projects. Even with a full protection plan the effects of a diluted bitumen spill in our waters would be catastrophic.

“If Trans Mountain were approved, which this announcement leaves room for, the number of tankers leaving Vancouver Harbour and traveling through the south coast of B.C. would increase by 580%. Currently, five tankers per month enter the port at the Westridge Marine Terminal. With Trans Mountain that would increase to an estimate 34 tankers per month. At 408 tankers transiting into and out of the Vancouver Harbour per year, over the project’s estimated 50 year lifespan that would be 40,800 tanker trips past the Gulf Islands and Southern Vancouver Island through the Juan de Fuca Strait – a route the Federal Tanker Safety Expert Panel has deemed “very high risk.”

“In both my professional and political capacity, and my role as a Trans Mountain intervener, I can state with certainty that the project must be rejected if we are to move in the right direction. The time for halfway measures – both to protect our marine environment and to reach our pledge to cap global warming well below 2.0°C – is at an end.”

“If world leaders understood what they signed in Paris, they would know that meeting the 2.0°C target is incompatible with the investment in any new fossil fuel infrastructure that is planned to be used in the next several decades.”

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Media Contact
Mat Wright – Press Secretary
Andrew Weaver MLA
1 250 216 3382
mat.wright@leg.bc.ca

 

2 Comments

  1. James-
    November 7, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    It’s easy and admirable for Trudeau to claim that respondents will be stationed within 3 hours of travel during fair weather. But the reality is that accidents happen during adverse conditions. We’re getting projections of 7-10 meter seas on the north coast right now, which has sunk another vessel and delayed the regularly scheduled ferry service by five days. No amount of money can recover spilled oil during 7-10 meter seas.

  2. Chris Helcermanas-Benge-
    November 7, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    It will take the government years to put out and approve tenders for setting up the Response infrastructure, but no time at all to OK the expansion of the pipelines. When the first Aframax (medium size) tanker hits the Lionsgate bridge & spills152 million litres of oil it will destroy Indian Arm, North Shore, Vancouver water fronts & Howe Sound. The other problem is even a “world class” oil spill response will retrieve approximately 12% of the spill, less if it is the heavy bitumen which sinks to the bottom. I have been on the shore where the Exxon Valdez spilled ll million gallons of oil 28 years ago and there are still oil pockets in the ocean and ashore. The sound’s coastal ecosystem is permanently damaged. Thousands of gallons of Exxon Valdez oil still pollute the beaches; this oil is still toxic and still hurting the ecosystem near the shore. Imagine what will happen here.