After eight years of working on your behalf to protect BC’s north coast I’m thrilled that Bill C-48, The Tanker Moratorium Act, was tabled by Transport Minister Marc Garneau today. Congratulations to Minister Garneau and his staff for bringing forward such an important bill.
As a tree planter and reforestation contractor working on the north coast I came to know it well. Travelling up and down the coast in boats and small planes both as a provincial environment minister and campaigning for a tanker ban in 2009, confirmed for me the importance of protecting it from oil spills.
I had the privilege of travelling from the southern tip of Vancouver Island up to Kitimat and to communities from one end to the other on our north coast, consulting with people and hearing their views and their strong support for a tanker ban on the north coast and Great Bear Rainforest region.
Over the years, the Exxon Valdez accident and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill were devastating reminders that there is no guarantee against an oil spill caused by human error or equipment failure.
Canada’s quality of life and coastal economies are closely connected with the health of our oceans and our ecosystems. Nowhere is this relationship more important than on British Columbia’s wild and fragile north coast, teeming with wildlife and unique in the world.
I introduced Bill C-606 in 2010 to prohibit the transportation of crude oil by tankers on Canada’s Pacific North Coast, and was proud to put it forward for debate and voting.
Even after the bill’s death, due to the snap 2011 federal election, my fight for a tanker ban along our north coast continued by reintroducing the bill as Bill C-437 in 2012. This cause became part of successive federal Liberal Party platforms and a central tenet of my own leadership run in 2013.
After eight years, I am happy to see the introduction of Bill C-48 and wish to congratulate all the supportive municipalities, first nations, advocacy groups and residents in British Columbia, including the residents of Vancouver Quadra. It is gratifying to experience the result of democracy at work.