May 12, 2017 (Vancouver) – The Coastal First Nations (CFN) commends Canada’s proposed oil tanker moratorium legislation on BC’s north coast.
While First Nations have not yet had an opportunity to review the text of the proposed legislation, the materials released today indicate that the proposed new law, “An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s north coast,” is likely to address most of the concerns of the Coastal First Nations.
Patrick Kelly, the CFN board chair, said we are pleased the proposed act prohibits large oil tankers carrying bitumen or synthetic crude oils from landing at any port in the region, including the central coast, north coast, and Haida Gwaii. “We fought hard against Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project. This law puts an end to any future oil pipeline and tanker project in our territories.”
Our communities have fought decades to protect our territories and waters from oil spills, Kelly said. “Our coast is no place for oil pipelines and tankers. They are a threat to our culture, environment and economy.”
He added that the proposed act supports and strengthens the CFN declaration to protect our environment. “Our work has always focussed on building healthy coastal communities and ecosystems.”
We have invested millions of dollars over the past 15 years to develop a sustainable coastal economy, says CFN president Chief Marilyn Slett. “The proposed act means we can now focus on building a healthy economy instead of fighting to keep oil pipeline projects out of our territories.”
The Coastal First Nations has had a ban on oil tankers since March 2010. Slett said “This new law will be a big step in the right direction. Our communities have spent much time and effort protecting the lands and waters in our territories. Today we honour them and those before us who fought so hard to keep our lands, waters and resources safe.”
For more information:
Board Chair, Coastal First Nations
Chief Marilyn Slett
President, Coastal First Nations