Forecasted Supertankers Growth Make Oil Spill Unpreparedness “Extremely Worrisome”

The Green Party of Canada is worried by the conclusions reached by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development in his report tabled this morning.

“Commissioner Vaughan tells us the Federal government is in a complete state of unpreparedness should an major offshore oil spill happen. He also forecasts a growth of the number of supertankers cruising on the West Coast: 1,800 new tanker movements, including supertankers,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands.

“In a context in which Harper’s Conservatives have a never ending desire to boost oil development, the Commissioner’s report is extremely worrisome,” added May.

“Add to this the slow pace in the development of Marine Protected Areas, a fact also highlighted in Commissioner Vaughan’s report, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Most of what the Environmental Commissioner has audited relate to Atlantic Canada, where despite decades of oil and gas experience in the offshore, the agencies lack capacity to conduct environmental assessments or to respond to a major spill. Recent cuts, including 50% of Environment Canada’s budget for environmental emergencies, further worsen the situation,” concluded May.