DONNELLY RE-INTRODUCES BILL TO BAN TANKER TRAFFIC OFF BC’S NORTH COAST

Today, Fin Donnelly, Member of Parliament for New Westminster-Coquitlam and Port Moody and NDP Fisheries and Oceans critic re-introduced his bill, seconded by Nathan Cullen, MP Skeena-Bulkley Valley, to permanently ban oil supertanker traffic off BC’s north coast.

“British Columbians have been clear. They want to protect our north coast and permanently ban oil tanker traffic though the Hecate Strait, Dixon Entrance and Queen Charlotte Sound,” said New Democrat Fisheries and Oceans Critic Fin Donnelly. “A major spill off BC’s north coast would be catastrophic to the ecosystem and would negatively affect the economy in this area.”

A poll conducted in April 2011 reconfirmed 80% of British Columbians are opposed to oil tanker traffic off the rugged north coast. First Nations, community groups and residents have been clear in their desire for a legislated ban, yet the government continues to disregard this warning.

“I am pleased to support this important legislation,” said Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley), the Western Canada Natural Resources critic. “We stand in solidarity with the countless First Nations, municipalities and residents that are committed to protecting our waters.”

The proposed Enbridge pipeline, slated to run from the Alberta tar sands to the BC coast, would bring more than 225 oil supertankers yearly through to the rugged and remote northern BC coast, placing this diverse and fragile ecosystem at risk.

“We must act now to protect the north coast of British Columbia”, said Donnelly. “I urge Parliament to consider the risks associated with oil super tankers travelling off BC’s north coast and legislate a permanent ban.”