The Peninsula News Review published a couple of letters just before Christmas on the increased tanker traffic that will result from twinning the Trans Mountain pipeline. Ms. Jestico called the extra one-tanker-per-day ‘a ticking time-bomb’! Well, if that is so, we are surrounded by time bombs. Several come to mind, using her train of thought.
Just think of the recent huge growth in air traffic at YYJ. What if, one dark and foggy evening, an approaching aircraft mistook the lights on Beacon Avenue for the runway approach and landed, heaven forbid, on the Gateway shopping centre? Horrific thought!
Then there’s another time bomb ticking away in Victoria harbour where the Coho, the Clipper, a float-plane and a mega yacht at the new millionaire’s marina, or any combination of them, might collide, burst into flames then drift into and destroy the new Johnson Street bridge.
Calculated risks, as Ms. Jestico says, all of them, but a risk worth taking — all of them.
Another letter writer said that we must stop the pipeline because the extra one-a-day tanker would disturb our orcas. Now let’s think about this a minute. Every day, B.C. ferries makes at least 83 passages through the Salish Sea. Add 12 daily ferry trips between the Island and Washington State, at least one cruise ship, plus numerous cargo ships and fishing boats and she thinks that one more tanker is going to upset the whales?
Get real. I was out in my small boat last summer when J-pod swam by, about a half-mile away. The pod was shadowed by 35 vessels, varying from commercial whale-watching boats, floating gin-palaces, cabin cruisers, fishing boats, dinghys, etc. And you think that a single tanker that may (or more likely, may not) be anywhere near our whales causes more disturbance and stress than these officially-approved encounters? I think not.
It would appear that some people are clutching at straws to find any excuse to disrupt the pipeline’s construction, even though exporting oil will generate billions of dollars in revenue through taxes to help pay for federal and provincial services that are fundemental to our well-being, such as Medicare, RCMP, defence, infrastructure, improving Indigenous well-being and, somewhat ironically, even pay a portion of our deficit that was incurred when we sent 232 of Justin Trudeau’s invitees on a junket to Paris for a meeting on climate change.
Bryan Holmes, North Saanich