A8 OIL TANKER TRAFFIC Saanich
WHEREAS a crude oil spill would have devastating and long lasting effects on British Columbia’s
unique and diverse coast, which provides critical marine habitat and marine resources that sustain
the social, cultural, environmental and economic health of coastal and First Nations communities;
AND WHEREAS citizens of British Columbia, particularly those living in coastal communities, and
First Nations communities and environmental groups have expressed well-founded concerns over
the expansion of oil pipelines and oil tankers:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM oppose projects that would lead to the expansion of oil
tanker traffic through BC’s coastal waters;
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that UBCM urge the Premier of British Columbia, the Leader of
the Official Opposition and members of the Legislative Assembly to use whatever legislative and
administrative means that are available to stop the expansion of oil tanker traffic through BC’s coastal
NOT PRESENTED TO THE ASSOCIATION OF VANCOUVER ISLAND & COASTAL COMMUNITIES
UBCM RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION: Endorse
UBCM RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE COMMENTS:
The Resolutions Committee notes that the UBCM membership has consistently endorsed resolutions opposing the expansion of oil tanker traffic on the coast of British Columbia (2010-B139, 2010-B140, 2008-B143).
Resolution 2010-B139 opposed the expansion of tanker traffic, and further, requested a legislated ban on bulk crude oil tanker traffic through Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. Resolution 2010-B140 expressed UBCM opposition to tar sands oil being shipped in pipelines across northern BC for loading onto crude oil tankers, especially as related to the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines (NGP) project.
In response to Resolution 2010-B139 the Province pointed out that “coastal communities, including Vancouver Island, are able to obtain supplies of oil and gasoline by barge and tanker transport. It is important for tankers to reach our ports.” However, the Province indicated that the federal government has regulatory authority over tanker traffic on the British Columbia coast.
In their responses to 2010-B140, the federal Ministry of Natural Resources and Ministry of Environment both stated that comments regarding the Enbridge Project specifically are welcome through the review process. The Ministry of Environment also stated that “(w)ith regard to oil tanker traffic, although a moratorium exists on oil and gas exploration and development off the coast of British Columbia, it does not apply to tanker traffic.
Under federal and provincial law, tankers are free to travel to and from British Columbia ports. There is, however a Tanker Excursion Zone, which is a voluntary measure negotiated between Canada and the United States. This applies only to loaded southern-bound oil tankers en route from Alaska and would not apply to the proposed Enbridge Gateway Pipeline Project.”
The Committee also notes that the membership endorsed a related resolution, 2011-LR6, which requested that any applications to expand the amount of oil transported by pipeline or tanker in BC undergo the highest degree of environmental assessment and meaningful public consultation, including local government and First Nations.
See also resolutions C16, C17 and C18