[MEDIA RELEASE] Spill response a wake-up call

For immediate release
Thurs. Apr. 9, 2015
VICTORIA B.C. - The spill of bunker fuel oil in English Bay, Vancouver is a wake up call exposing a lack of ‘world class’ oil spill response on the West Coast. Media reports on the communications and response are deeply troubling considering the plans to expand tanker and freighter traffic in Vancouver Harbour and throughout B.C. coastal waters.
Residents of Metro Vancouver should be concerned. Reports are that oil is already impacting local beaches and the City of Vancouver has issued a notice advising residents to avoid contact with any oil that washes on shore.
The fact the B.C. Government has yet to publicly demonstrate cooperation and communication with Vancouver Port authorities, the Coast Guard and City of Vancouver is disturbing. This unfortunately illustrates an inability to coordinate effectively and efficiently with the necessary authorities to provide an adequate response. Clearly we are a long way from dealing with any oil spill, let alone from a vessel carrying diluted bitumen.
“This spill is deeply concerning.,” said Adam Olsen, Interim-Leader of the B.C. Green Party. “My colleague Andrew Weaver and I toured Port Metro Vancouver last week and we discussed the implications of an oil spill in Burrard Inlet. Now we are seeing it play out first hand. We simply cannot afford the environmental, social or economic disruptions of a spill now or in the future.”
“The fact that it took a reported nine hours to deploy the first containment booms is totally unacceptable,” said Olsen. “It appears that we have insufficient resources and coordination in place to handle an oil spill, which is precisely the reason we have been actively critical about the massive expansion of oil tanker traffic through the Salish Sea.”
The B.C. Green Party is deeply concerned with the increase of shipping traffic through the Salish Sea and events such as the one playing out in English Bay highlights an immediate need to ensure that we have the resources and capability to respond to any situation. Anything less is unacceptable.
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1.888.473.3686 ext. 3

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  • commented 2015-04-19 21:01:54 -0700
    Freedom of Information requests should be made to the provincial government, regarding their emergency spill response plans. To find the names of the actual plans see the following page http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=FCA7954D1335433686A938616F03B9CD and you will then be able to request the appropriate documents.
  • commented 2015-04-10 22:20:40 -0700
    Trevor that does not surprise me, and means nothing has changed in the last couple of decades. I had a company that set up kitchens at special events and had the ability to have a kitchen up and running in hours to feed a hundred thousand. A friend who had trucks with full kitchens on board for film sets and similar events was invited to an emergency preparedness meeting and was put on a list of resources in case of a disaster. His trucks would go to the command centers and provide hot fresh food for the bureaucrats. He told them about me being able to set up kitchens to feed the public and said that I should be on that list too. The bureaucrats were surprised to hear him mention the public and responded that the scope of the meeting did not include that. I was never put on that list, the public would just have to fend for themselves while the bureaucrats enjoyed hot gourmet meals and my equipment stayed in storage.

    Something that is similar is that some hospitals in BC have no kitchen, a multinational corp Sodexo delivers the cheapest possible crud on airline trays for every meal. I met the man whose job is to try and shave off 1/100th of a cent off the tray, not a portion of something. In other words the cheapest possible garbage is being served in some hospitals, schools and jails. For several years I tried to find out how they would get food to hospitals in an emergency, and could not. When I got my ham radio license I was at a meeting with people who would be dealing with emergency co-ordination in Langley, (the hospital kitchen was dismantled many years ago) and asked what the plan was to get food to the hospital in a crisis. The room was quiet, as if something rude happened, everyone looking at their clip boards or the floor. Eventually someone said that there is no plan. That was the last meeting I went to, what’s the point?

    I know several first responders and I sometimes ask them about what is going on. When I asked where they would take the sick and injured in Langley during a crisis because there will be no food in the hospital, the response is “that is not our problem”. I am sure that Sodexo’s CEO will not loose any sleep if hospital patients have no food because the crud they deliver now is inedible anyway. When my father was in the hospital my mother had to cook for him and feed him.

    When it became illegal for me to sell high quality food from my farm the only solution I found was to leave Canada and go to a sane place where the gov supports sustainable agriculture and small business. There are five grow ops around me but I can’t sell food. A constitutional challenge to reclaim our right to eat what we choose was fought by a farmer and lost. He gave up because of lack of public support. This place has gone insane, there is nothing the well intentioned Greens can do. Get out of here while you can, I am packing now
  • commented 2015-04-10 20:03:42 -0700
    I have contacted provincial emergency preparation groups to volunteer my relevant spill response experience. They told me they do not have personnel le to deploy on a spill, but rather have plans to make plans to contact other people to deal with a spill. An embarrassing response from the cover up quote of being a world class leader for an event like this. Gov’t can be good for plans, not actions! They need this wake up
  • commented 2015-04-10 09:57:09 -0700
    The way that I understand the economy, the GDP is not about creating wealth but about cash flow and taxes. So an oil spill could be an economic stimulus because all kinds of experts, lawyers and bureaucrats will have lots of work for years. Similar to the Picton situation, funding was cut for women’s shelters, while they were alive they were worthless. Alter they were dead they were a cash cow that caused if I remember correctly about a hundred million in cash flow for the investigation and legal costs. Is there any incentive for those who are in power to change?
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