OTTAWA – Despite claims from the Conservative government that Canada’s oil spill response is ‘world class,’ the threat of a major oil spill and lack of preparedness has drawn the attention of American authorities.

“While Conservatives claim BC has robust marine protection, Washington State Ecology Department officials and the Environmental Protection Agency are concerned about Canada’s ability to respond to an oil spill,” said NDP Fisheries and Oceans deputy critic Fin Donnelly (New Westminster – Coquitlam). “The only ones who don’t seem to see the problem are the Conservatives. If they won’t listen to British Columbians, maybe they’ll listen to our neighbours to the South.”

Records released to The Globe and Mail reveal that American authorities and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also expressed concerns that they were left out of the Trans Mountain pipeline hearings.

“But, it’s not just the U.S. that’s waking up to our lack of preparedness on the West Coast, even the National Energy Board chair has admitted there’s room for improvement,” continued Donnelly. “It’s time the Conservatives admit their cuts put our coast at risk, and make marine safety a priority, starting with reopening the Kitsilano Coast Guard base.”

An NDP government would reopen the Kitsilano Coast Guard base and the Ucuelet Marine Communication and Traffic Services centre.

*Clip of Mr. Donnelly in the House of Commons can be found here:  

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