Oil Tanker Bill Hearing in Prince Rupert

Kathy Brookes

The Senate's Transport and Communication Committee heard witnesses in Prince Rupert today as it considers the federal bill to ban oil tanker traffic off the North Coast. 

Representatives of the Coastal First Nations were among those speaking in favour of Bill C-48.

They told the senators their leaders know from experience that the North coast's extensive navigational hazards mean the potential for a catastrophic oil spill is simply too great. They said they are also frustrated with critics who "fear-monger about jobs and the economy" since the oil tanker ban was introduced partly to preserve the sustainable livelihoods of people in coastal communities. 

Skeena-Bulkley Valley M-P Nathan Cullen also used the hearing to urge senators to move the bill forward.

The B.C. government has also spoken in favour of the ban but emphasized the importance of meaningful consultations with Indigenous communities who would be affected by the limitations it might pose. 

Tomorrow, the senators hold another full day of hearings in Terrace at the Best Western Terrace Inn.

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