June 21st marked a big step towards a legislative ban on oil tanker traffic along BC's coast.
On Monday, Micheal Ignatieff and the Liberal Part of Canada announced that they would make a commitment to formalize the oil tanker ban in British Columbia. This ban would prevent crude oil tankers from using BC's Central and North Coast as the 'water highway' for Enbridge's crude oil tankers.
The proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline, ending in Kitimat, would result in an average of 225 oil tankers per year travelling up and down the BC north-central coastline, known to many Bluewater passengers as the Great Bear Rainforest.
That's 225 chances that one of these tankers could leak crude oil into this lush area, home to animals such as Humpback Whales, Orcas, Fin Whales, five Pacific Salmon species, Grizzly Bears and the rare genetic variation of the Black Bear, otherwise know as the Spirit or Kermode Bear.
Being an area that we frequent during our season, Bluewater has long been a supporter of the ban on oil tankers in the Great Bear Rainforest. On March 23 Bluewater was a part of an unprecedented grouping of 150 First Nations groups, businesses, environmental organizations, and prominent Canadians who ran a full-page ad in the Globe and Mail, with the headline "This was Exxon's gift to Alaska. B.C. Can Expect the same from Enbridge".
Over our several decades of travelling in this area we've already seen evidence of increasing pressure on this precious ecosystems -- oil tanker traffic would certainly increase that pressure.
Monday's announcement is a step towards the eventual goal of a legislated ban on oil tankers. We know the animals of the Great Bear Rainforest would approve...
To read more about this exciting development and see the proposed route for these oil tankers at the Living Oceans website.
Want to get involved in this campaign? Why not write a letter to Stephen Harper to tell him what you think of Enbridge's pipeline application.