Tsleil-Waututh Nation Disturbed by Oil Spill Response Ship Debacle

NORTH VANCOUVER, March 21, 2013 – Tsleil-Waututh Nation is disturbed by reports that British Columbia’s largest oil spill response ship, Burrard Cleaner No. 9, got stuck on a sandbar enroute from Esquimalt to the Harper government’s tanker safety press conference in Vancouver on Monday. The incident underscores the Nation’s position that the dramatic increase in tanker traffic that would result from Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline is a risk too great to accept.

“This would be comical if it wasn’t so frightening,” says Carleen Thomas, Elected Councillor, Tsleil-Waututh Nation. “If they can’t even get to a pre-planned photo op quickly and without incident, we have to question their competency in getting to and dealing with an oil spill. We’re hearing reports that it took eleven hours for the ship to get from Esquimalt to Vancouver. What if this was an actual emergency? And who would save the ship that’s supposed to save our waters?

“This blunder proves that, despite the Harper government’s assurances that plans are in place, mistakes happen. And when we’re talking about oil, the consequences of those mistakes are dire,” continues Thomas. “No amount of clean up could repair the damage caused by a spill. New pipelines like Kinder Morgan’s project only increase tanker traffic and multiple the risk. That is simply unacceptable.”

The Nation is pointing to a series of changes made by the Harper government that have severely compromised environmental protection for B.C.’s coast. This includes: stripping the environmental assessment process through Bill C-38; severely cutting back the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment Canada; closing the emergency oil spill office in Vancouver; and closing the Kitsilano Coast Guard station.

“The Harper government’s recent tanker plan announcement doesn’t even come close to repairing the damage they have caused with their attack on environmental protection,” says Thomas.

Tsleil-Waututh Nation is adamantly opposed to Kinder Morgan’s proposal to build a new pipeline to bring crude oil/bitumen to foreign markets through Burrard Inlet and the Salish Sea. The proposal would see the transport of crude oil expanded from its present level of approximately 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day. The pipeline terminates in Tsleil-Waututh territory. The Nation has experienced the results of crude oil handling and refining on Burrard Inlet for a number of decades. The Nation is expecting government-to-government consultation on this project.

Tsleil-Waututh Nation is focusing its efforts on finding sustainable solutions to meeting energy needs through its company TWN Wind Power. On April 19th the Nation is hosting a conference in Vancouver on transitioning away from oil dependency. The conference, supported by the Cities of Vancouver and Burnaby, will stimulate discussion, explore clean energy alternatives, and raise public awareness about the expansion of the Canadian tar sands and oil industry transportation infrastructure. To register, visit https://www.eply.com/OilDependencyConference.

About Tsleil-Waututh Nation
Tsleil-Waututh Nation is a progressive and vibrant Coast Salish community of approximately 500 members. The Nation is located along the shores of Burrard Inlet in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada, across the Inlet from the Burnaby terminus of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.

The Nation’s Sacred Trust Initiative is mandated to oppose and stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project. Follow the Tsleil-Waututh Sacred Trust Initiative on social media:

Twitter:   @TWNSacredTrust
Facebook: Tsleil-Waututh Sacred Trust Initiative

For more information please visit www.twnation.ca.

SOURCE: Tsleil-Waututh Nation

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Tsleil-Waututh Nation

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