Amendments to Bill C-48, Oil Tanker Moratorium Act

Elizabeth May

Forgive me, but I need to put on the record an objection to the process to the fact that this committee passed a motion that deprives me of the right I would ordinarily have to present these amendments at report stage.

I know that you individually did not intend to increase my workload, deprive me of my rights, and pass a motion that essentially requires me to be here, rather than giving me an opportunity. I place my objection on the record and move to put forward the amendment, which is deemed to have been moved because I have no rights here, except for the motion you passed that makes me be here. I apologize for complaining about the nature of the manipulation.

The amendment I’m putting forward deals with the issue of the size of the vessel. You’ve certainly heard testimony from West Coast Environmental Law, Pacific Wild, Sierra Club of British Columbia, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, the Haida and the Heiltsuk nations, who have questioned the 12,500 metric ton threshold. As you just hard from our colleague, Nathan Cullen, that threshold is far larger than the spill which caused so much damage just recently, within the last year, of the Nathan E. Stewart spill, that was a real threat to the Heiltsuk community and nation. We’re looking at here evidence of Transport Canada’s report that in order to provide resupply shipments to the north coast, vessels of 3,200 metric tons is an appropriate limit on the size of the vessel.

I do want to say, by the way, I overall welcome Bill C-48. Just to give a tiny bit of history, this bill essentially does what we had in place since 1972 through a voluntary moratorium on the shipment on the north coast of B.C. that the federal government and the British Columbia government had accepted until the recent Conservative government. Legislating the north coast tanker ban is welcome, and I’ll make other efforts to expand it, but overall I certainly welcome this piece of legislation, but would much prefer, as would the communities along the coast, to ensure that the allowable shipments are held to 3,200 metric tons in bulk. My amendment goes to every place where you see 12,500 metric tons, and changes it in each location to 3,200 metric tons.

Thank you.