Action on derelict vessels welcome in federal coastal strategy

November 07, 2016

(OTTAWA) – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands), released the following statement:

“As Greens, we will always welcome better protection for our coastlines,” Ms. May said. “This is a three-ocean strategy that recognizes we are poorly prepared to deal with marine spills and emergency response. To that end, investments in the Canadian Coast Guard and marine emergency response are welcome.

“I’m very pleased to see the Prime Minister respond so quickly to a motion passed in the House on Oct. 26, put forward by Bernadette Jordan (MP, South Shore—St. Margarets) and which I seconded. This motion called for a comprehensive plan to address abandoned, derelict and wrecked vessels, including making vessel owners responsible and liable for vessel clean-up,” Ms. May said. “This is a significant problem in my riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands and across Vancouver Island.

“However, nothing in today’s announcement clears the way for cabinet’s approval of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. There is insufficient scientific evidence to justify a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic through the Salish Sea and Burrard Inlet that carries dilbit, a toxic mix of solid bitumen and diluent. We need further research to understand how dilbit behaves in a marine environment following a spill.

“The Kinder Morgan decision will serve as the litmus test to Prime Minister Trudeau’s commitment to genuine protection of our coastline, the environment and to real climate action,” Ms. May concluded.