New bill would prohibit oil tankers from carrying crude and ‘persistent oils’ as cargo from stopping, loading or unloading at ports or marine installations along B.C.’s north coast and Haida Gwaii.

New bill would prohibit oil tankers from carrying crude and ‘persistent oils’ as cargo from stopping, loading or unloading at ports or marine installations along B.C.’s north coast and Haida Gwaii.

Liberals introduce oil-tanker ban bill

The bill would ban most tankers carrying crude oil along B.C.’s north coast

Canada’s transport minister recently introduced a law that would ban most oil tankers from the north coast of B.C. and Haida Gwaii.

The bill would prohibit oil tankers from carrying crude and ‘persistent oils’ as cargo from stopping, loading or unloading at ports or marine installations. Anyone who defies the ban could face fines of up to $5 million.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen said the proposed legislation is the direct result of decades of hard work by northwest First Nations and communities to protect sensitive marine environments.

“Congratulations to everyone who has played a part in finally getting the federal government to understand the absolute need for a moratorium on tanker traffic and loading and unloading facilities at ports in northern B.C.,” said Cullen.

However, Cullen said “the devil is in the details,” saying the bill that is eventually placed before Parliament for a vote “must have the fingerprints of northwesterners all over it.”

“We’ll all be watching to make sure study of the proposed legislation is evidence-based and includes people in the northwest who understand the risks of tanker traffic and have the most at stake in seeing strong protection of our coastline,” he said.

Cullen said he looks forward to hearing expert testimony about the proposed bill, including testimony from people who live on B.C’s coast and Haida Gwaii.

Besides crude oil, the ban applies to a list of 14 persistent oils such as various bunker fuels, synthetic crude, slack wax and partially upgraded bitumen.

“They tend to sink, and there’s no way to remove them unless you do it manually,” explained Canada’s transport minister Marc Garneau.

“We’re very concerned about those kinds in particular, because of their effect on the environment.”

If science later shows that more types of oil should be added to the ‘persistent’ list, Garneau said the bill allows for it. Likewise, he said oils could be removed from the list if new technology allows for their safe clean-up.

The proposed act does not ban bulk shipping of refined fuels that break up or evaporate in case of a spill such as gasoline, jet fuel or liquefied natural gas. Also, the proposed law exempts tankers that carry less than 12,500 metric tons of crude or persistent oil as cargo – an exemption intended to allow critical shipment of fuels, home-heating oil, and other goods to coastal communities and industries.

Liberalsoil tanker

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The village is hoping for a start date in early April with completion as soon as possible. (Granisle Village website photo/Houston Today)
Granisle’s curling rink to receive a facelift

Receives a $362,148 provincial grant

A huge milestone for Granisle to reach 50 years, said Mayor. (Village of Granisle photo/Lakes District News)
Granisle’s 50 years anniversary celebration postponed

The celebrations are now set to be held in 2022

Topley is part of the 10 projects funded in the north. (Laura Blackwell photo/Houston Today)
Topley to receive economic funding

Part of province’s $20.7 million Climate Adaptation Program

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Most Read