An oil tanker anchors in Strait of Juan de Fuca as a man walks to his car along the grounds of Royal Roads University looking towards Esquimalt Lagoon following snowfall in Victoria, B.C., Friday, December 9, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

North Coast First Nation chief says one major oil spill could ruin economy forever

Chief Marilyn Slett of Heiltsuk Nation near Bella Bella is leading a delegation in Ottawa this week

Leaders from several north-coast B.C. First Nations say if the Senate doesn’t approve a bill barring super-sized oil tankers from the region, their fragile but thriving marine-based economies will die.

The legislation would put into law an existing moratorium on tankers carrying more than 12,500 tonnes of crude oil in the waters between the northern tip of Vancouver Island and the Alaska border.

The legislation passed the House of Commons last spring and is now being debated in the Senate.

Chief Marilyn Slett of the Heiltsuk Nation is leading a delegation of chiefs and elected leaders in Ottawa this week to lobby senators to pass the legislation, which cleared the House of Commons last spring.

READ MORE: First Nation to sue over tug that spilled 110,000 litres of diesel off B.C. coast

The bill is strongly opposed by the Alberta government, which believes it cuts off an entire option for shipping crude oil. Premier Rachel Notley has added it to the list of irritants between her province and the federal government.

Slett says the waters the ban covers are difficult to navigate and a single major spill would be the end of her nation’s livelihood.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Cermaq Canada continues to adapt operations amid Covid-19 pandemic while supporting employees and local communities

As governments, communities and Canadians continue to modify behaviors and activities based… Continue reading

No more ferries will sail from Departure Bay, Mill Bay, Brentwood Bay during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Ferries announces major changes to sailing schedules for 60 days starting Saturday, April 4

COVID-19: North Islanders bang pots and pans to honour essential workers

‘Hopefully we can keep it going for them because these people are showing up at work every day for us’

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Juvenile eagle

‘I was able to drive up close to it and get a few pictures without getting out of the truck’

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Emergency funding available for North Island College students

Funding for students experiencing financial strain that may affect their ability to continue studies

Most Read