Vancouver, BC — The Canadian government’s decision to implement a moratorium on crude oil shipment to and from ports in Northern British Columbia sends a dangerous economic signal while not addressing risk appropriately, according to a group representing the marine industry on Canada’s west coast
The Chamber of Shipping stated it “strongly advocates for the vigorous protection of our pristine coastlines, and we have been proud to lend our voice to the chorus of support for initiatives like the government’s Oceans Protection Plan (OPP). Our members have eagerly participated in a range of programs designed to advance safe shipping practices and reduce our ecological impact.
“However, we do not support the moratorium announced today. Firstly, it contradicts a crucial pillar of the federal government’s stated approach to environmental protection: evidence-based decision making. It also flies in the face of the OPP, which commits to focusing resources on determining and addressing real safety and environmental risks identified through scientific research.
“Secondly, the moratorium sends a very harmful signal to the international investment community. Canada is now the first and only country in the world to legislatively ban the trade of multiple commodities. The establishment of this moratorium may have unintended consequences from coast to coast and set a precedent that could ultimately impact Canadian jobs and the economy.”
“At a time when the U.S. is focused on its global competitiveness, this unnecessarily extreme approach tells our current and potential trading partners that Canada is closed for business,” says Robert Lewis-Manning, President of the Chamber of Shipping.
“Lastly, we are disappointed that the federal government ignored our recommendations for a comprehensive marine spatial planning approach that would bring together multiple users of the ocean – including First Nations, government, industry, conservation advocates, and recreational users – to address concerns. This pragmatic approach would have encouraged collaborative problem-solving, as well as clarity and consensus around policy development.”