Liberal Oil Spill Measures Don't Go Far Enough

OTTAWA – The NDP Critic for Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard, MP Fin Donnelly (Port Moody – Coquitlam), today expressed his support for some of the measures announced today but called for more to be done to protect our coasts.

“We have been calling for oil spill prevention and response measures but the fact is that this announcement does not go far enough to protect our coasts,” said Donnelly. “There needs to be new tougher regulations and a permanent oil tanker ban on BC’s North Coast immediately.”

The announcement did include two NDP proposals including a pledge for legislation on abandoned vessels and support for indigenous community first responders but made no mention of the Liberal’s promised tanker ban and failed to meet the BC government’s demands for needed improvements.

“The measures announced today would not have prevented the ongoing diesel spill in Bella Bella or others that have caused massive devastation to our fisheries, First Nations communities, and our marine environment,” cautioned Donnelly. “The NDP is proposing strict regulations which would, among other things, ensure there are Canadian pilots aboard each vessel for additional coastal protection. It’s time for this government to come through on their promise made to British Columbians to protect our coasts.”

“I’m glad to see more resources for the Coast Guard, but disappointed the Liberals aren’t reopening the Comox Coast Guard station, which they shut down in May,” added Sheila Malcolmson, MP for Nanaimo—Ladysmith. “Jobs in our community depend on preventing oil spills, and reacting fast when they happen. Today’s announcement doesn’t include enough specifics to give us any confidence in the government’s ability to protect our coast from oil spills.”

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