Oil tanker in Burrard Inlet.

UBCM opposes oil tanker traffic growth in near-split vote

Civic leaders vote 51.3 per cent for resolution urging province to fight oil pipeline projects

B.C. civic leaders voted by a razor-thin margin Thursday to oppose oil pipeline projects that would expand tanker traffic in coastal waters.

The resolution passed in a nearly split electronic vote at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention with 51.3 per cent of delegates in favour and 48.7 per cent opposed.

“We rely solely and wholely upon the oceans for its many resources,” said Skeena-Queen Charlotte regional district director Des Nobles, one of several delegates who said the risks of B.C. carrying more oil to the Pacific far outweigh the benefits.

Others cited the higher cost and challenge of cleaning up a spill of heavy bitumen crude oil and Canada’s insufficient spill-response capability.

“Communities in the interior of B.C. and on the coast can survive and thrive without this pipeline,” said Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt.  “I’m not convinced smaller communities and even large ones can thrive in the face of a catastrophic oil spill.”

Opponents of the resolution cited the damaging signal it would send of B.C.’s openness to business before environmental reviews are complete.

Enbridge is in a joint review process on its proposed Northern Gateway bitumen pipeline to Kitimat, while Kinder Morgan is in an earlier stage of its plans to expand its existing Trans Mountain oil pipeline from northern Alberta to Burnaby.

“The oil in Canada is going to come out of the ground and it’s going to find its way to market,” said Prince George Mayor Shari Green, who opposed the resolution.

She said Alberta oil sands crude might flow to tidewater through Alaska or Washington State instead of B.C.

Kinder Morgan already has a branch of its Trans Mountain oil pipeline that also reaches the coast in Washington State at Cherry Point, where some of the flow is refined.

“Tsunami debris is already arriving on our shorelines,” Green said. “So would oil from our neighbours should there be an accident.”

The resolution advanced by Saanich council requires UBCM to “oppose projects that would lead to the expansion of oil tanker traffic through B.C.’s coastal waters” and urges provincial government leaders to fight it by any legislative and administrative means available.

Just Posted

Esquimalt artist captures culinary personalities with body art

Mary Ploegsma’s unique chef/tattoo portrait series on display this month in Chinatown café

Jazz bargains available for music lovers this month

Left Coast Jazz Fest offers four-show package deal, extends discount for TD JazzFest ticket holders

WINE NOTES: Wild about the whites

Plenty of reason to try out these affordable whites, writes Monday wine columnist Robert Moyes

Animal-loving comic Carla Collins performing fundraiser show for SPCA

Sellout show June 20 could raise up to $35,000 for Victoria branch of organization

TESS VAN STRAATEN: Getting funky in Fernwood

Eclectic neighbourhood draws many visitors, laid-back feel popular with residents

Rick Mercer-led comedy team in for second Just for Laughs show at UVic

Comedy company will stage two shows Nov. 16 at Farquhar Auditorium

Trade expo a key part of 2019 BC Seafood Festival

Comox Valley hosts celebration of seafood industry; numerous events on tap this weekend

Samoa bans Elton John biopic, Rocketman

Depictions of homosexuality, contrary to law, cause country’s censor to prevent film’s screening

REVIEW: If you like farce, you’ll love Noises Off at Langham Court!

By Sheila Martindale The nine cast members in Langham Court Theatre’s new… Continue reading

Celtic songs tuned up for Sooke coffeehouse

Celtic Reflections to perfrom on June 15

Most Read