Nature Canada

Congratulations on Oil Tanker Ban on B.C.’s Northern Coast

Image of Stephen Hazell

Stephen Hazell
Director of Conservation
and Legal Counsel

Congratulations to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who last week directed Marc Garneau, his Minister of Transport to implement a moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic through B.C.’s northern coast.

Crude oil tankers will be prevented from transiting the waters between the northern tip of Vancouver Island and Alaska. The moratorium means that Enbridge will be prohibited from taking massive oil tankers into and out of Kitimat. And this means that the Northern Gateway pipeline, which has intended to bring oil from Alberta’s oil sands to the Pacific Ocean, will not be built.

Represented by the Environmental Law Centre (ELC) at University of Victoria, Nature Canada and BC Nature played a major role at the project hearings, introducing expert evidence on the project’s potential impacts on threatened woodland caribou and on terrestrial and marine birds. Our lawyers cross-examined Northern Gateway experts at four witness panels for a total of 25 hours.

The big issue will be whether the government proposes to implement the ban through legislation or other means.  To be effective, a legislated moratorium would seem to be the best way to proceed.

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Canada’s wilderness is the world’s envy. It’s our duty to keep our true north strong and green.