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Tanker ban high priority for Liberals

Liberal candidate for Saanich Gulf Islands Renee Hetherington speaks about supertankers at the ocean discovery centre. - christine van Reeuwyk /News staff
Liberal candidate for Saanich Gulf Islands Renee Hetherington speaks about supertankers at the ocean discovery centre.
— image credit: christine van Reeuwyk /News staff

In front of a flurry of fish, Joyce Murray, MP for Vancouver-Quadra, was in Sidney to support the bill to ban tankers off BC’s north coast.

“I love this background,” Murray said, gesturing to the large tank at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre. “It’s just an excellent illustration of why the coast is so precious to all of British Columbians.”

She noted that 56,000 people earn their living on the water, from fishing to ecotourism and her private members bill C-606 is set to protect those people.

“One thing we know is with the best regulations in the world, with the best intentions in the world, we can never guarantee against human error or guarantee against equipment failure. So if we have hundreds of crude oil supertankers on our coast … we risk having a catastrophic spill.”

“My bill is the continuation of a long-term Liberal policy started under Pierre Trudeau to not allow tankers in the inland waters of the north coast,” Murray added. “It’s time to formalize it in law.”

Federal Liberal candidates Renee Hetherington and Lillian Szpak were on hand to support Murray’s bill.

Hetherington, candidate for Saanich Gulf Islands, noted that the oldest human bones (10,000-plus years old) found in North America are from Prince of Wales Island on the north coast.

“This area of our coast was the foundation of the only civilization in the world that wasn’t based on agriculture,” she said. “This area has the importance not only to coastal British Columbia but to the world. It is the  foundation of an economy, of a culture, of a people that lived thousands of years ago and continue to live here today. And now where our families reside provides the foundation of our homes of our economy of our lives and of our future. This is an incredibly important place. It’s our home and it is really important for the government of Canada to protect the economy, to protect the environment and to protect the people of Canada. That’s our job.”

 

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