In solidarity with 80 percent of British Columbians who oppose oil tanker traffic in B.C.’s inside coastal waters1, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) passed a resolution in October 2010 opposing the expansion of oil tanker traffic in Dixon Entrance, Hecate Straight and Queen Charlotte Sound. They also resolved to petition the federal government to establish a legislated tanker ban in the same areas2.
B.C. Members of Parliament from the New Democratic Party and Liberal Party of Canada want a federal, legislated tanker ban, and are supported by official policy commitments from party leaders Jack Layton and Michael Ignatieff. In December 2010 a Private Members Bill was tabled in the House of Commons proposing legislation to ban oil tanker traffic in Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. The Conservatives are the only major party that does not support a federal, legislated ban.
Canadians have good reason to oppose oil tanker traffic. Coastal residents and tourists stand to lose if a spill oils beaches, kills wildlife and ruins recreation opportunities. Residents who live along waterways oiled by Enbridge’s pipeline spill in the Kalamazoo River in the summer of 2010 reported a variety of adverse health effects, including headaches, nausea and respiratory symptoms3.
Data Source: Town locations come from the B.C. Gazetted Names database.