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Press Centre

Transport Canada tanker review inadequate

LIVING OCEANS SOCIETY - Transport Canada’s review of the marine transportation components for Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project offers empty reassurances on the safety of the proposed oil tanker routes. Due to the fact that the studies reviewed were paid for and conducted by Enbridge, it is unsurprising that a summary of the reports supports Enbridge’s position.

Transport Canada’s conclusion assumes that Enbridge will implement all safety recommendations, yet Enbridge is legally allowed to ignore them. Enbridge will not be responsible for the tankers or for cleaning up any oil they spill. Once the oil leaves the pipeline, Enbridge is absolved from all risk. The vessels and their cargo are the responsibility of the ships’ owners. When a spill occurs, Enbridge can watch from the shoreline as Canadian taxpayers are left with the bill for cleanup and compensation costs.

“The public is being asked to trust a company that has no liability for the marine aspects of its project, including oil tankers,” said Katie Terhune, Energy Campaign Manager for Living Oceans Society. “Why would anyone trust a company with a horrible record for oil spills that has preached empty promises before?”

Additionally, many of the proposed safety measures rely on support from the Canadian Coast Guard’s Marine Communication and Traffic Service Centres, who monitor vessel traffic on the coast and respond during emergency situations. But the federal government has recently announced de-staffing of these centres across the coast.

History has shown that accidents happen. No one foresaw the demise of the state-of-the-art passenger ferry Queen of the North, which crashed into Gil Island along the proposed tankers route in 2006, yet the vessel is still polluting the region to this day.

Media contact:

Katie Terhune, Living Oceans Society,             250-973-6580