The federal Green Party of Canada continues to call for a legislated ban on bulk oil tankers along Canada’s entire Pacific Coast and supported the Private member’s bill calling for this, as a significant step towards protecting BC’s coast.
There has been an oil tanker ban off BC’s North Coast since 1972 through a provincial-federal agreement, but recently both the federal and provincial governments have been attempting to undermine it, which is why we need it in legislation. The moratorium was put in place because of the high risks of a major oil spill in the exceptionally stormy waters in the Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Basin – famous for some of the largest waves on Earth – and because BC’s northern coast is exceptionally clean and abundant with marine life. The proposed pipelines that would feed that tanker traffic have been opposed by over 80 First Nations bands and thousands of B.C. residents.
The bill to ban northern tanker traffic introduced by Liberal MP for Vancouver Quadra, Joyce Murray, would exempt diesel, home heating oil, and gasoline shipments to service local communities along BC’s northern coast. The bill does not ban the shipment of condensate or offshore oil and gas development, which the Green Party would also like banned through legislation.