A tanker ban is within reach
In his federal mandate letters, Prime Minister Trudeau ordered key cabinet ministers to “formalize a moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic on British Columbia’s North Coast.”
Stopping crude oil tanker traffic on the north coast will put an end to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline for once and for all. This move is undoubtedly due to the years of effort, strength and determination of so many – up and down the coast, across the north, and across the province.
We are closer to victory than we’ve ever been but we are not quite there yet.
It is important to consider exactly how the federal government will formalize the ban.
Environmental groups, First Nations and coastal communities are united in the believing that the ban has to be a permanent, legislated one. It’s the surest way to provide clear and lasting protection from the threat of catastrophic oil spills for this spectacular, abundant part of the world.
Let Prime Minister Justin Trudeau know that you appreciate his commitment to protecting this coast and that a permanent, legislated ban is what’s needed and what British Columbians expect from his government.
Prime Minister Trudeau also instructed cabinet ministers to overhaul Canada’s broken and discredited environmental assessment process. This is on top of his campaign promise to reassess Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tankers proposal. Both are welcome moves.
A credible process needs to incorporate meaningful public participation; it needs to respect indigenous rights and it needs to consider every proposal’s greenhouse gas emissions. Building a ‘climate test’ into how we make decisions about energy infrastructure proposals will ensure we only approve projects that do not make climate change worse.
Let Prime Minister Justin Trudeau know, just before he heads to the Paris climate talks, that he has the opportunity to demonstrate real climate leadership by:
- implementing a legislated oil tanker ban for B.C.’s north coast; and
- putting the Kinder Morgan pipeline review on hold until an overhauled federal review process considers climate impacts.
It’s time for a new approach to pipelines in Canada that takes our coast and climate change seriously. Because it’s 2015.