Letter: Catastrophic oil spill in coastal waters could still happen

Re: Coast Guard hysteria sinks lower, B.C. Views (April 29)

Re: Coast Guard hysteria sinks lower, B.C. Views (April 29)

I think the operative word that eludes Mr. Fletcher’s description of the recent spill and cleanup of oil in English Bay is “preparedness.”

He derides just about everyone who might have a criticism of our current federal government policies regarding the West Coast in general, because disaster after disaster hasn’t piled upon itself like so many shipwrecks on the rocks.

In his own words: “It’s been two years, and nobody has [drowned]”- this in regard to the closing of Kitsilano Coast Guard station.

Likewise, the recent oil spill can be considered a trial run for “the big one” (not the earthquake/tsunami big one), as tanker traffic is ramped up, even as resources to battle what some people call the inevitable (not Mr. Fletcher though) are reduced.  The English Bay fuel spill was 3,000 litres. A supertanker spill could be as much as 300,000 barrels of oil. Are we prepared for that?

From the example of  the Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound, Alaska, which was a 250,000-barrel spill, we are not ready for much more than a ship casually pumping out its ballast.

But, according to Mr. Fletcher, because a catastrophic spill hasn’t happened, it apparently can never happen. The “hysteria” surrounding our wee oil spill is nothing more than shrieking, “the sky is falling, the sky is falling.”

His response to media and public responses over the oil spill, if we apply it to the schools across this province, leads one to argue there is no need for earthquake upgrades because there hasn’t yet been a school that has collapsed from an earthquake.

Richard WeatherillSaanich

 

Just Posted

Queue up a playlist of Victoria musicians

Local guitarist, Cody Rueger, creates playlist to highlight Victoria’s music scene

Block party hosted in Oak Bay to welcome two young Syrian refugees

Funds raised will support the brothers for first year on Island

Plans for Colwood’s Royal Beach property moving forward

Seacliff Properties to hold open house on June 25

Ambulance service practises virtual reality CPR in Victoria

Training takes place on B.C. Parliament lawns

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

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

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

B.C. municipality prepares to forbid overnight camping by homeless despite court ruling

While courts have ruled against blanket bans, Langley City is employing a site-by-site approach

B.C. auditor says Indigenous grad rate highest ever but education gaps exist

The percentage of Indigenous students graduating from B.C. public high schools has hit its highest level ever

Statistics Canada reports annual pace of inflation rises in May to 2.4%

Transportation prices gained 3.1 per cent as the cost of air transportation added 8.9 per cent

BREAKING: Forest fire on North Island disrupts Hwy. 19

Wildfire has reached .25 hectares, according to BC Wildfire Service

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

Most Read