Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen.

Cullen questions Liberal tanker ban

MP Nathan Cullen has expressed concerns over how the federal government is approaching a formalized moratorium on oil tankers

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP and NDP Environment Critic Nathan Cullen has expressed concerns over how the federal government is approaching a formalized moratorium on oil tankers passing through the Northwest coast.

Federal Minister of Transport Marc Garneau visited Prince Rupert on Jan. 14 to consult on the tanker ban issue. Cullen tabled a private member’s bill on the tanker ban in 2014, which was later defeated in Parliament in April 2015, and he expressed concern with how Garneau is approaching the subject.

“I don’t know which direction they’re actually moving in. One thing that’s a slight concern is that Mr. Garneau came into town and met with some local First Nations,” Cullen said, “but not any of the local environment groups, or some of the other people who have been working around this issue for many years.”

Cullen said that the NDP party has already drafted the legislation on the ban and the federal government doesn’t have to do any work on it.

“Our concern is that the Liberals are leaving the door open for everything from a proper and complete ban … all the way to something incredibly mild and unacceptable.”

Some of his concerns stem from suggestions by China to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that it will establish a trade deal with Canada if an oil bitumen pipeline comes to the West Coast and to allow Chinese companies to buy Canadian companies.

“I guess this is their moment of realpolitik. Will the Liberals come down with what they promised or will they cave to the interests of other groups and other countries?” Cullen said.

Cullen also questioned why federal scientists support the LNG terminal on Lelu

In a recent report to the Environmental Assessment Agency,  government scientists with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) agreed with Pacific Northwest that the LNG terminal on Lelu Island poses little risk to the Flora Bank.

“I’m a bit confused and confounded. The federal government chose to side with the industry science over the science that has been compiled by the First Nations,” Cullen said.

“To suggest that the damage can be mitigated or they have such great certainty that it can be offset is concerning to me.”

“The DFO has been completely absent from the debate around Northern Gateway and seems to be playing mostly lip service to industry,” he said.

Under the previous government scientists felt they weren’t allowed to speak and would just “tow industries’ wishes”. He thought the new government would change that pattern, but so far he doesn’t see much of a difference. “We’ll see but I’m a bit distressed by it,” he said.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs to meet today with federal and B.C. governments

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

51 health professionals send letter to Trudeau, Horgan panning Coastal GasLink

They point to studies about the health and climate change risks from pipeline

The good, the bad and the odd for Smithers in the provinical budget

Acting Mayor Gladys Atrill and a local financial planner break down the budget

14 arrested at blocked rail line in northern B.C., police say

But a Gitxsan hereditary chief says 14 were arrested, as fight over natural gas pipeline continues

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Chinatowns across Canada report drop in business due to new coronavirus fears

Around the world, about 81,000 people have become ill with the virus

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

B.C. city rebrands with new logo, cheeky slogan

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Most Read