Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping (Clear Seas) responded today to the federal government’s decision to approve Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion project from Edmonton to B.C.’s west coast, which is expected to increase oil tanker traffic in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet from five tankers a month to 34.
“Today’s decision highlights the importance of the government’s $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan and the need to increase marine safety systems and strengthen the Canadian Coast Guard,” said Dr. Richard Wiefelspuett, Executive Director of Clear Seas.
“With added tanker traffic expected in the waters around the highly-populated Lower Mainland and on our coastlines, Canadians need to be assured that measures will be taken to improve marine communication systems and vessel traffic monitoring, increase towing capacity for rescue operations, and create valuable information sharing with indigenous and coastal communities,” added Dr. Wiefelspuett.
A recent poll commissioned by Clear Seas confirms that Canadians understand the importance of marine shipping for the economy, but many are concerned about the effective enforcement of marine safety policies and procedures. “While today’s announcement included a moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic on B.C.’s northern coast, Clear Seas supports measures that prevent possible marine incidents from happening in the first place along all Canadian coastlines,” said Dr. Wiefelspuett. “These measures include enhanced marine traffic information sharing, new navigation aids and aerial surveillance to improve marine safety.”
Dr. Wiefelspuett added that Clear Seas’ research and ongoing engagement with indigenous and coastal communities confirms the importance of creating meaningful partnerships to help protect and safeguard our coastlines, now that these decisions have been made.
About Clear Seas
Based in Vancouver, B.C., Clear Seas is an independent, not-for-profit research centre that provides impartial and fact-based information about marine shipping in Canada, including risks, mitigation measures and best practices for safe and sustainable marine shipping.