Canadians are learning of the alarming consequences from the Conservative government’s lack of regard for our rivers, lakes and oceans.
The new Navigation Protection Act passed under Harper removes most of our area lakes and rivers from protection (for example, according to Government of Canada website, Skaha, Slocan, Christina, Vaseux and Osoyoos lakes are no longer protected under the new act).
Our oceans did make the short list for protection in the new act. How ironic then, that despite protected designation the Pacific was left vulnerable to the 2,700 litres of bunker fuel that leaked into English Bay last week.
In 2013 the Kitsilano Coast Guard station, which could have responded to the spill within six minutes, was closed. Instead, it took six hours to begin the clean-up process.
The Vancouver fuel spill is a wake up call for Canadians. What if the accident involved a tanker, carrying 600,000 barrels of crude oil? It was only months ago that the disabled Russian cargo ship Sumishir was adrift off the B.C. coast near Haida Gwaii. Disaster was narrowly averted, when after 20 hours a U.S. tug reached the Sumishir and towed her safely to port.
The conservative claim that 80 per cent of the spill has been cleaned up doesn’t add up for Frederick E. Moxey. The 35-year coast guard veteran and former commander of the closed Kitsilano Coast Guard station says it would be unusual to recover more than 30 per cent of a spill.
I am convinced that Canadians want and deserve better. It is time for better stewardship of our land and water, and time for transparency and honesty.
South Okanagan-West Kootenay Federal