Oil spill in English Bay – imagine it happening here

Green Party leader and local candidate comment on the spill in Vancouver

  • Apr. 14, 2015 6:00 p.m.

The inadequate response to the spill of bunker-C fuel in English Bay in Vancouver is a wake-up call for residents of Vancouver Island, Glenn Sollitt, Green Party of Canada candidate for Courtenay-Alberni, said Friday.

“It tells us that everything the Harper government and Kinder Morgan told us about protecting us from spills from pipelines and tankers is just lip service,” Sollitt said through a news release.

The Greens say a slow response time, a lack of communication and a lack of coordination between agencies show there was no plan, other than to call a private company — half-owned by Kinder Morgan — hours later to ask for their help.

“Imagine if this had instead been a tanker spill off either the east or west coasts of Vancouver Island,” said Sollitt. “Imagine the blow to our local economies as we tried to clean up and recover.”

Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May  also said the spill was likely worse due to a series of cuts made by the Conservative government.

“In the last few years, over a chorus of outrage and objections by British Columbians, Stephen Harper closed the Kitsilano Coast Guard station, the Vancouver Environment Canada station of Environmental Emergencies and the Marine Mammal Contaminants Programme within DFO,” May said.

The Environmental Emergencies Program in Environment Canada used to have regional offices in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Dartmouth and St. John’s. Since 2012, they have been replaced with a 1-800 number that rings in Gatineau, Que. and Montreal.

“No wonder spill response time was slow and communications with the City of Vancouver unacceptably slow,” said Claire Martin, Green Party candidate in North Vancouver, former national meteorologist, and former Environment Canada scientist.

— NEWS Staff/Green Party news release

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ballenas Whalers football players honoured after stellar high school season

Chomolok, Rykers earn most valuable player accolades

‘Elizabeth Little Waterfront Park’ proposed in Qualicum Beach

It was first announced in 2018 that St. Andrews Lodge would be turned into a public space

RDN budget talks to include public consultation results

Director not impress with level of engagement

Three celebrations this summer in Parksville for city’s big 75th birthday bash

Beach party and street festival to be added to city’s roster of activities

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Most Read