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Death of Northern Gateway Project and Tanker Ban Decision a double victory for Coastal First Nations

November 29, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


Death of Northern Gateway Project and Tanker Ban Decision a double victory for Coastal First Nations

 

Tuesday, November 28, 2016 (Vancouver, BC) – Coastal First Nations (CFN) says today’s federal government decision to quash the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project and impose a crude oil tanker moratorium on BC’s north coast is a double victory for Coastal First Nations and for all north coast communities fighting to protect coastal economies, cultures and ecosystems.

 

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Heiltsuk say Premier’s message ignores reality of threats to the Great Bear region

November 15, 2016

November 15, 2016 (Bella Bella, BC) – Clean-up efforts kick into full gear today now that the Nathan E. Stewart has been lifted from Heiltsuk waters to a salvage barge anchored in Norman Morrison Bay off Seaforth Channel near Bella Bella.

Unified Command said yesterday the barge carrying the tug should be underway for Surrey as early as Thursday. Expected bad weather now raises concerns for Heiltsuk over safe transport of the dirty tug out of their territorial waters.

Dive teams are clearing a propeller and other tug debris from the seafloor while shoreline cleanup teams have doubled up and are checking for oil on beaches after a large amount of diesel was discharged from the salvaged tug late Monday. A Transport Canada NASP plan arrives today to assess how much additional diesel spilled during the operation.

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Nathan E. Stewart is lifted from Heiltsuk waters, Now the real work begins says Chief

November 14, 2016
Bella Bella, B.C. (November 14, 2016) – Late this afternoon, the Nathan E. Stewart tug was lifted from the waters of Seaforth Channel where it is now suspended alongside the salvage barge. Today marks 33 days since the Texas-owned tug ran hard aground spilling more than 100-thousand litres of marine diesel, 2,240 litres of oil and other lubricants.
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Opinion: New federal marine commitments are an important first step

November 9, 2016

 

 

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Coastal First Nations say Canada’s federal investments an important first step. The proof will be in the delivery

November 7, 2016

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Coastal First Nations say Canada’s federal investments an important first step.
The proof will be in the delivery

 

November 7, 2016 (Vancouver) – Coastal First Nations, CFN, say Prime Minister Trudeau’s announcement today of new federal investments to improve marine safety and shipping management are an important first step. The proof of their success will be in the delivery.

“This is an important step but our Nations need to be involved at the nation to nation level in the design and delivery of marine safety and shipping management in our Territories,” says CFN President and Heiltsuk Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett. “We want a joint management plan in which our Nations are fully resourced and making decisions about vessel traffic in our waters.”

 

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Opinion: First Nations must play key role in spill response

October 31, 2016

Vancouver Sun, October 30, 2016

 

The devastating diesel spill in Heiltsuk Nation territory is a clear example of why First Nations must play a key role in emergency spill response planning.

It is established that the Kirby Corp.’s Nathan E. Stewart tug was traveling without a Canadian marine pilot when it went aground, tearing open its hull in Heiltsuk waters. The first Heiltsuk at the site, an hour boat ride away, was 75-year-old Melvin Innes. Arriving in the early hours of Oct. 13, Innes, who knows the area well, could see the damage was already done and that by the time responders arrived, it would be too late.

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Heiltsuk infuriated by Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc’s statement on diesel spill

October 26, 2016
For Immediate Release
 
Heiltsuk infuriated by Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc’s statement on diesel spill
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Day 12: Ground Crews turn to Shoreline Contamination in Kirby Oil Spill

October 24, 2016
Bella Bella (October 24, 2106) – Shoreline cleanup crews have been deployed to try to recover diesel contaminating tidal beaches and rocky shoreline areas from the sunken Nathan E. Steward tug in Heiltsuk waters.
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Heiltsuk Nation Responds to New Measures to Improve Marine Safety

October 24, 2016

Bella Bella (October 24, 2106) – The Heiltsuk Nation is pleased with new interim measures announced today by the Pacific Pilotage Authority (PPA), including changes to waiver exemptions allowing vessels that carry petroleum products to traverse the West Coast without a Canadian marine pilot.

“While it’s regrettable that it took a diesel spill in Heiltsuk waters to get these safeguards in place, we appreciate that PPA Chief Executive Officer Kevin Obermeyer reached out and came to our community,” says Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett, Heiltsuk Tribal Council.“Heiltsuk leadership is impressed that Mr. Obermeyer came to Bella Bella with recommendations to improve PPA regulations on the Central Coast,” says Chief Slett.

The Pacific Pilotage Authority has introduced several measures it says will take effect this week, including the requirement that a Master pilot be on the ship’s bridge when it travels through Heiltsuk and other coastal waters. 

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HEILTSUK IN SHOCK AS CRITICAL BARRIER CONTAINING SPILL BREAKS FREE

October 22, 2016

Bella Bella (October 22, 2016) –– Heiltsuk Chief Marilyn Slett says her community is in a state of shock today as spilled diesel oil has broken free of barriers to contain it and weather worsens. 

“From the air, it looks like the spill is completely free in the water,” says Chief Slett who flew over the area yesterday. “Containment has been Heiltsuk priority from day one. Why weren’t seaworthy booms put in place immediately after the spill?”

Chief Slett says the oil spill response corporation WCMRC now plans to bring in more seaworthy booms. She says it will take at least a day for the new equipment to arrive in Bella Bella and a gale warning is in effect with winds expected to pick up to 35 to 45 knots tonight. 

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