OTTAWA- British Columbia is one step closer to having a full legislative ban on supertankers operating off the northern coast after an NDP call for government action passed the House of Commons 143 to 138.

“For years the people of British Columbia and concerned Canadians have been calling on the Federal government to protect their coast from the risk posed by oil tankers,” said New Democrat Leader Jack Layton. “Now the government has clear direction from this House to move forward and bring in this much needed legislation.”

For New Democrat Natural Resources Critic Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley), who introduced the motion, this victory has been the culmination of years of hard work and consultation with communities, First Nations, and other stakeholders.

“First Nations have led the fight to protect our environment and ocean economy every step of the way,” said Cullen. “They have been joined by the municipalities of BC, concerned citizens and now by a majority of elected MPs. The government must respect the will of the House and wishes of Canadians by immediately introducing a bill to stop these tankers once and for all. If they need help, they can use our bill -- already drafted by NDP MP Fin Donnelly.”

Since the motion was tabled, thousands of Canadians have stepped up to support the tanker ban: joining online groups, signing up for email updates, signing petitions and lobbying their MPs to support the NDP motion.

“The out pouring of support has been outstanding,” said Cullen. “I think it shows people are engaged with what is happening politically, especially when it affects such an important part of Canada’s natural heritage as the BC coast.

“I am very happy that House has echoed this support in adopting this important motion.”