VANCOUVER SPILL REINFORCES NEED FOR BETTER OIL SPILL PREPAREDNESS

VANCOUVER – As cleanup of a toxic bunker fuel spill in Vancouver’s English Bay continues, British Columbians have received an unwelcome reminder of the Conservative government's disregard for the protection and management of oil spills along BC's coast. 

“We are grateful that the crews are working to contain the spill,” said NDP Fisheries and Oceans deputy critic Fin Donnelly (New Westminster–Coquitlam and Port Moody). “Imagine if it had been an oil tanker, or an issue at the refineries in the Burrard Inlet; the situation would be devastating.”

Over the last four years, British Columbians have seen the closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard base, and are witnessing the closure three of the five Marine Communication and Traffic Centres, while at the same time marine traffic is increasing. 

 “The Auditor General has highlighted that Canada is not prepared to deal with even a moderately sized spill, yet the Harper Conservatives continue to cut resources to the Coast Guard and organizations tasked with responding to these incidents,” said Vancouver Centre NDP candidate Constance Barnes. “A crude oil spill in the Lower Mainland would be a catastrophic it would not only affect the coast, but the communities and economy that depend on these environments. I fought long and hard as Chair and Commissioner at the Vancouver Park Board to protect and preserve our environment and I will continue to fight at the federal level. Vancouver Centre is known for the jewel of the city Stanley Park, its beaches and wildlife and it’s time the Conservatives create a safety plan that will protecting BC’s coast.”

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