Oil tanker in Burrard Inlet.

Oil tanker in Burrard Inlet.

UBCM opposes oil tanker traffic growth in near-split vote

Civic leaders vote 51.3 per cent for resolution urging province to fight oil pipeline projects

B.C. civic leaders voted by a razor-thin margin Thursday to oppose oil pipeline projects that would expand tanker traffic in coastal waters.

The resolution passed in a nearly split electronic vote at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention with 51.3 per cent of delegates in favour and 48.7 per cent opposed.

“We rely solely and wholely upon the oceans for its many resources,” said Skeena-Queen Charlotte regional district director Des Nobles, one of several delegates who said the risks of B.C. carrying more oil to the Pacific far outweigh the benefits.

Others cited the higher cost and challenge of cleaning up a spill of heavy bitumen crude oil and Canada’s insufficient spill-response capability.

“Communities in the interior of B.C. and on the coast can survive and thrive without this pipeline,” said Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt.  “I’m not convinced smaller communities and even large ones can thrive in the face of a catastrophic oil spill.”

Opponents of the resolution cited the damaging signal it would send of B.C.’s openness to business before environmental reviews are complete.

Enbridge is in a joint review process on its proposed Northern Gateway bitumen pipeline to Kitimat, while Kinder Morgan is in an earlier stage of its plans to expand its existing Trans Mountain oil pipeline from northern Alberta to Burnaby.

“The oil in Canada is going to come out of the ground and it’s going to find its way to market,” said Prince George Mayor Shari Green, who opposed the resolution.

She said Alberta oil sands crude might flow to tidewater through Alaska or Washington State instead of B.C.

Kinder Morgan already has a branch of its Trans Mountain oil pipeline that also reaches the coast in Washington State at Cherry Point, where some of the flow is refined.

“Tsunami debris is already arriving on our shorelines,” Green said. “So would oil from our neighbours should there be an accident.”

The resolution advanced by Saanich council requires UBCM to “oppose projects that would lead to the expansion of oil tanker traffic through B.C.’s coastal waters” and urges provincial government leaders to fight it by any legislative and administrative means available.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner’s report confirms cause of death of three men at Sooke River in 2020

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen drown while ‘puddle-jumping’ in pickup truck

The Pacheedaht First Nation is planning a $1-million expansion to its campground in Port Renfrew. (Pixabay photo)
Expanded camping announced for Pacheedaht Campground

$1-million project is part of the B.C. Rural Economic Recovery program

Soloman and Zev Nagler enjoy time on the beach at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park on a summer day. The Capital Regional District is in the process of determining whether to institute parking fees at this and eight other CRD parks. (Black Press Media file photo)
CRD parks committee rejects new Greater Victoria parking fees – again

More arguments against fee hikes, pay parking at nine parks, brought forward by committee members

(Black Press Media file photo)
Crash at Saanich, Victoria border results in non-life-threatening injuries

Cause remains under investigation, impairment not a factor, VicPD says

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre stands in as the Quimper Regional Hospital on Feb. 23 for filming Maid, a 10-part Netflix series. (Greg Sutton/District of Saanich)
Netflix transforms Saanich recreation centre into hospital for filming

Facility was closed to public Feb. 23 for filming of Maid

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
Island-raised musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah closes out the movie

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing escalates to stabbing in Nanaimo

Victim, struck with coffee cup and then stabbed, suffers minor injuries; suspect arrested

A battery electric-hybrid ferry, pictured here, is expected to make its way to Vancouver Island in late 2021, says B.C. Ferries. (Submitted photo)
Hybrid ferry for Gabriola-Nanaimo route launches in shipyard in Europe

Two hybrid vessels to replace MV Quinsam by early 2022, says B.C. Ferries

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

The Port of Nanaimo has signed a 50-year-agreement with DP World around short-sea shipping operations at Duke Point Terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)
Lease ‘important first step’ in $105-million Nanaimo port expansion project

Port of Nanaimo and DP World sign 50-year shipping operations agreement for Duke Point

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Most Read