Greens pledge to defend BC’s coast, demand accountability over Conservative cuts to oil spill response capacity

(VANCOUVER) April 11, 2015 - Greens from Greater Vancouver gathered on the shores of English Bay this morning to stand up for Vancouver’s shoreline, and draw attention to the Conservative cuts that have put our coast in jeopardy. 

Adriane Carr, Vancouver Green Councillor, Ken Melamed, Green Candidate for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, Claire Martin, Green Candidate for North Vancouver, and Lynne Quarmby, Green Candidate for Burnaby North-Seymour, spoke out about the spill, and the dismantling of Vancouver’s spill response capacity. 

“Harper’s cuts have undermined our capacity to respond to oil spills like this, made Vancouver’s coastline more vulnerable and, from fisheries to tourism, jeopardized the livelihoods of this province’s residents who depend on our coast,” said Adriane Carr.

Since 2011, Harper’s Conservatives have: cut the regional offices of Environment Canada’s Environmental Emergency Programme, cut ten Coast Guard operations, including the Search and Rescue Operation in Vancouver and marine communication operations in Kitsilano, Comox, and Tofino–affecting the ability of the Coast Guard to monitor and deal with marine pollution offences, cut back the Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s Centre for Offshore Oil, Gas, and Energy Research, and cut the entire Marine Contaminants Programme within the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

“This is unacceptable. Now we see first hand what the effects of these cuts have been on our coast,” said Lynne Quarmby. “And it is further perverse that the oil companies, who stand to profit from pipeline and tanker projects, also own the spill response companies and also stand to profit when there is a spill. The fact that this spill came from a brand new ship shows that even the latest technology is no guarantee against oil spills.”

“At least bunker fuel floats. If this was a diluted bitumen spill, like the product that the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline would ship through our city, it would have sunk, blanketed the sea floor, and been impossible to clean up,’ said Claire Martin. “It bears repeating that the Greens are the only political party that is opposed to the Kinder Morgan pipeline.”

“The ultimate accountability for these Conservative cuts will be in the form of a new government that actually listens to British Columbians and values the protection of our coast,” said Ken Melamed. “From Woodfibre LNG to Kinder Morgan, Greens are standing up against the mega projects that are endangering our coast. Electing Green MPs in 2015 will make sure that the voices of British Columbians are finally heard.”


For additional information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
cell: (613) 614 4916
office: (613) 562 4916 (224)