Fin Asks the Government to Make Good on Their Promise to Implement a Permanent Ban on Crude-Oil Tankers Off B.C.'S North Coast

Fin Donnelly (Port Moody—Coquitlam, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday an American tugboat and tanker barge ran aground on B.C.'s north coast. The accident caused 200,000 litres of diesel to spill into a sensitive area. If this had been a fully loaded supertanker, it would have caused massive devastation to our fisheries, first nations communities, and our marine environment.

When will the Liberals make good on their promise to protect our coasts and implement a permanent ban on crude-oil tankers off B.C.'s north coast?

Hon. Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, improving marine safety is a very high priority for this government. That is why I am working with my colleague from Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard to improve marine safety for this country, as well as working on a moratorium. We will have things to say shortly.

    In the meantime, I should let the member know that the Pacific Pilotage Authority has revoked the exemption for piloting for the company in question; the TSB is on location; I have appointed a ministerial observer,; and we at Transport Canada will be conducting a compliance inspection.