Marc Garneau

Marc Garneau

Minister of Transport holds consultations in Prince Rupert on the moratorium on crude-oil tankers, video and story

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau went to Prince Rupert to meet stakeholders regarding the moratorium on crude-oil tankers (with video)



The new Minister of Transport Marc Garneau held consultations on the North Coast of British Columbia on Thursday as part of his mandate to formalize a moratorium on crude-oil tankers in the area.

Garneau made a stop in Prince Rupert as part of his nation wide tour and met with a variety of stakeholders on the issue.

“I’m here consulting because this will affect the lives of people living on the North Coast of British Columbia and it’s important that their voices be heard. Yes, I’ve been mandated to put into place — formally — a moratorium on the shipment of crude-oil here on the North Coast. In order to do that I need to talk to people who represent different stakeholder groups. Some of them are from the shipping industry, some of them are environmentalists and of course first and foremost our First Nations who are the coastal people of this part of the country,” he said.

A moratorium on crude-oil tankers has been debated before. In 2010, Liberal MP Joyce Murray introduced a private member’s bill to legislate a tanker ban on the coast. Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen also advocates for a tanker ban. He put forward a private member’s bill, the Act to Defend the Pacific Northwest, to prohibit oil tankers in the Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. The bill was defeated in April 2015.

A ban, however, might deny U.S. oil tankers access to the Alaskan Panhandle. In response to concerns about how the moratorium might affect foreign relations with the U.S. government Garneau said, “Well it depends on how we proceed with it. When we talk about the North Coast of British Columbia it also includes the Dixon Entrance, and as you know for a very long time, that area is an area where our two countries the United States and Canada, have not resolved who owns what. Obviously if one has a moratorium one has to consult and that’s why Minister Stéphane Dion, who is responsible for Global Affairs or Foreign Affairs, will also have to be consulted.”

Another issue at hand in the North Coast involves a plea to increase federal ferry subsidies. Recently the Minister of Transport from British Columbia visited Garneau in Ottawa to state his case on increasing federal ferry subsidies for B.C. residents, but Garneau said that no decisions have been made at this time.

Prince Rupert’s strategic importance as a port on the Asian-Pacific gateway and as a key CN rail route in North America was not lost on Garneau.

“It’s an extremely important port. It has enormous potential. As the transport minister one of my primary concerns is to affect in an efficient way getting all of the products that Canada produces and wants to export to other countries is to get them sent out to our ports so that they can go to other countries. In other words making our transportation infrastructure as efficient as possible,” he said.

In the morning Garneau flew over the Prince Rupert by helicopter to look at the expansion of the port.

“It’s a remarkable story what has happened here in terms of the container market. It has grown tremendously here,” he said. “I think it has a bright future. We’ll certainly be, in Transport Canada, trying to help to optimize that routing and that infrastructure.”

Just Posted

Grads at Riverside Park in Vanderhoof, B.C. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof celebrates 2021 graduates

NVSS grads got together at Riverside Park on Friday, June 11 in… Continue reading

Singing and drumming was heard in downtown Vanderhoof on Monday, June 14. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Photos: Honour Walk held in Vanderhoof

An honour walk was held Monday June 14 in Vanderhoof, remembering the… Continue reading

Emergency crews responded to the scene of a suspicious fire at the southeast corner of the OK Café in Vanderhoof Friday, June 11. The historic building is 101-years-old. (BC RCMP photo)
OK Café in Vanderhoof alright after suspicious fire

Damage kept to a minimum by firefighters

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. Northern Health confirmed it has the lowest vaccination rates amongst the province’s five regional health authorities. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Vaccination rates in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St James well below provincial average

COVID-19 immunization clinics for youth 12+ coming up in Fort St. James

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Dr. Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus students Ethan Reid, from left, Brenden Higgins, Ty Oviatt, Kaleb Alphonse, Nathan Kendrick and Landon Brink with RCMP officers Const. Nicoll and Const. Stancec. (Photo submitted)
RCMP thank 6 teens for helping prevent forest fire in Williams Lake

The students came across fire in a wooded area and used the water they had to try and extinguish the flames

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Most Read