Victoria, B.C. - “Though weak on details, I am supportive of the initiatives outlined in the National Oceans Protection Plan includes,” says Andrew Weaver, Leader of the BC Green Party and MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head.
“I am especially grateful to see derelict vessels included in this plan. As an MLA for a coastal area, it is an ongoing problem I have struggled with in my riding. Currently, local, provincial and federal governments get mired in jurisdictional squabbles as the remediation process for derelict vessels is delayed, leaving boats to rust and leak on the foreshore.
“The Heiltsuk Nation has worked tirelessly to monitor and mitigate the impact of the recent diesel spill near Bella Bella. They stepped up to fill in where the provincial and federal governments were lacking and I’m glad to see the importance of co-management with Indigenous communities acknowledged in this plan.
“That said, I am worried this announcement will be held up as a justification for the approval future heavy oil projects. Even with a full protection plan the effects of a diluted bitumen spill in our waters would be catastrophic.
“If Trans Mountain were approved, which this announcement leaves room for, the number of tankers leaving Vancouver Harbour and traveling through the south coast of B.C. would increase by 580%. Currently, five tankers per month enter the port at the Westridge Marine Terminal. With Trans Mountain that would increase to an estimate 34 tankers per month. At 408 tankers transiting into and out of the Vancouver Harbour per year, over the project’s estimated 50 year lifespan that would be 40,800 tanker trips past the Gulf Islands and Southern Vancouver Island through the Juan de Fuca Strait - a route the Federal Tanker Safety Expert Panel has deemed “very high risk.”
“In both my professional and political capacity, and my role as a Trans Mountain intervener, I can state with certainty that the project must be rejected if we are to move in the right direction. The time for halfway measures - both to protect our marine environment and to reach our pledge to cap global warming well below 2.0°C - is at an end.”
“If world leaders understood what they signed in Paris, they would know that meeting the 2.0°C target is incompatible with the investment in any new fossil fuel infrastructure that is planned to be used in the next several decades.”
Mat Wright, Press Secretary, Office of Andrew Weaver, MLA
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