The Star, December 7, 2010
The House of Commons has approved a motion calling for a permanent ban on oil tankers off British Columbia’s coast.
The NDP motion passed by a vote of 143-138, with all opposition parties supporting it and Conservatives opposed.
The motion is not binding on the government, which maintains a ban is unnecessary since a long-standing, informal moratorium on oil tankers off B.C.’s coast is already in effect.
Without a legislated ban, however, opposition parties fear the Tory government will be pressured into allowing tanker traffic in order to open new Asian markets to crude from Alberta’s oilsands.
Enbridge Inc. is proposing to develop a 1,100-kilometre pipeline to carry oilsands bitumen to Kitimat, B.C., where it would be loaded onto supertankers bound for Asia.
The National Energy Board is currently assessing the environmental impacts of the proposal.