Adjournment Proceedings – Transport

On Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 in Adjournment Proceedings

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I think my hon. friend has been picking up speaking points from former president Bill Clinton and the style of his Democratic convention speech.

I would ask that he listen closely, because what I am going to say is important. My question in June and my question today relate to respect for the will of British Columbians. Let me speak to the will of British Columbians.

It is the will of British Columbians not to have supertankers on our coastline. That is why since 1972 there has been a moratorium. Although the port of Vancouver was grandfathered at the time, the coastline of British Columbia, and Hecate Strait in particular, which according to Environment Canada is the fourth most hazardous body of water on Earth, is not traversed by supertankers carrying oil because we have had a moratorium since 1972.

That moratorium is the will of British Columbians, and we will, as a province and as a people, continue to insist that the Prime Minister of this country respect the British Columbia firewall.

Pierre Poilievre: Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed the member wants to build a firewall around British Columbia, particularly on the issue of international shipping.

There is not an expert in the world on regulatory matters that would believe it in the interest of Canada to go to province by province regulations for shipping. We would have five or six different regimes just entering the St. Lawrence into the Great Lakes, and that would not be practical.

The reality is that we have had tankers going in and out of the British Columbia west coast since the 1930s, a total of 82 tankers last year, 1,302 tankers in the last 5 years, and 200 oil and chemical tankers safely visited the ports of Prince Rupert and Kitimat.

We have strong regulations, aerial surveillance, onboard inspections. For 20 years, as a result of these strong regulatory actions and the co-operation of industry, we have not had a single, solitary major oil spill in Canadian waters. That is a success story we should celebrate, not something we should tear down.

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