250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 27, 2017 5:36 pm

Cullen Calls Liberal Tanker Bill a ‘Good First Step’

Saturday, May 13, 2017 @ 12:36 PM

Smithers, B.C. – It’s a rarity in politics but it happened this week – an NDP MP is applauding a proposed bill put forth by the governing Liberals. 

But Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen says the bill to ban crude oil tanker traffic on B.C.’s North Coast  is mostly the “direct result of decades of hard work by Northwest First Nations and communities to protect sensitive marine environments.”

“Congratulations to everyone who has played a part in finally getting the federal government to understand the absolute need for a moratorium on tanker traffic,” he said yesterday.

“Today is a milestone along a journey that began over 40 years ago to ban crude oil tanker traffic along our precious coast.”

However, Cullen added “the devil is in the details and we’ll all be watching to make sure study of the proposed legislation is evidence-based and includes people of the Northwest who understand the risks of tanker traffic.”

He said he’s pleased the bill uses much of his private member’s bill introduced in 2015 but voted down by the then-Conservative government.

Transportation Minister Marc Garneau’s proposed bill would prohibit oil tankers from carrying crude and persistent oils as cargo from stopping, loading or unloading at ports or marine installations in northern B.C.


This is great news for our North Coast and even better news for the possibility of a major refinery in the region for refined exports of gasoline and diesel to Asian markets.

Our local politicians should view this as a green light to push a major refinery north of the Fraser watershed in the Bear Lake area for Asian exports via rail and the north coast ports. Priority number one should be a new rail link from Fort St James to the west line near Fraser Lake so the refined fuel doesn’t have to be transported through downtown PG and along the Nechako river.

The key here is that crude and persistent products are now banned, but it says nothing of refined products. This is what we needed to have the regulatory backing to ensure we refine our own natural resources here in BC prior to export. This is required in the new age of free investment and free trade treaties if we want to have major investments for plants in Canada and it’s great that the Trudeau government sees things this way as well. It’s not a total ranker ban, just a ban on the unrefined products that pose the most threat to our waterways.

Great news IMO.

    Step one complete on starting a new petroleum industry north of PG that will revolutionize the industry in this region and provide tens of thousands of sustainable jobs for future generations. IMHO

      Sure hope that’s the case.
      Refine it here.
      Mr. Cullen is one solid guy, no wonder he keeps getting re-elected.

      To dream the impossible dream.

My guess is that once Keystone is up and running Alberta oil will continue to ship to the USA. Perhaps the Canada East line will also go through. This will keep the oil out of the water on the West Coast altogether which should make every one happy.

If in fact you were going to build a refinery in the West of PG it would make more sense to build it in Kitimat, or Prince Rupert. Why refine it in the Ft St James area, only to reship it to Kitimat or Prince Rupert for export.??

    Maybe because opposition to pipelining it through all the mountains and watersheds is what killed the Enbridge proposal?

      Unless I am misreading his post, he is talking about railing the refined product to the West Coast. He doesn’t mention pipelines.

    We have an existing pipeline into Bear Lake and we have agreements with Northern Gateway stakeholders into Bear Lake that has approval already.

    We have an existing substation in Bear Lake that could handle a refinery and close proximity to the hydro power source.

    We have plenty of available heavy industrial land near Bear Lake.

    We have an existing rail line from Bear Lake into Fort StJames, so extending the line through past Fraser Lake maybe 80km of track and all that traffic could avoid PG and limit the hazard to the Nechako watershed.

    Bear Lake would face little environmental opposition as it is in the Mackenzie watershed, same as the oil sands, and has few people if any that would be downwind of its emissions (unlike anywhere else).

    Bear Lake has all the required services for a major industrial project like a new refinery, and a vast employment pool just 45-minutes drive south.

    Anything on the coast would face opposition just getting the crude that far for risk it would end up in the water and risk the potential of land slides. They don’t have the service industry base and population centre PG has. They would face opposition to the pollution in the airshed as well as possible water contamination? Finding appropriate industrial land would also be an issue.

Should we expect the same for the East Coast then?

On second thought, we couldn’t risk any job losses in Quebec or anything…

    The east coast already ships crude at their ports, they have plenty of safety resources that come with populations and having the Canadian navy based there. As well the off shore conditions on the east coast are nothing like the BC west coast.

    That a price to pay for jobs. We just cant seem to leave that dirty oil where it is and stop polluting our environment. All it provides is profit for our corporations to make billions.

      Everyone imagines that the only people who profit from business are Mr. Monopoly types who sit back with their cigars and brandy, counting the money they make.

      You know who benefits from profits as well? Investors! Investors like the average person saving up an education fund for their kids. Investors like a young couple trying to save up so that they themselves can start a business some day. Investors like pension funds, including my own (which I work hard for).

      Look around you right now. Almost everything you have, is brought to you by a corporation one way or another.

Comments for this article are closed.