English Bay Vancouver Oil Spill Protest Saturday

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English Bay Vancouver Oil Spill Protest Saturday

On Saturday of this week, the NDP will be holding a day of action in response to the English Bay oil spill and the failure of the Con government to deal with it effectively. Here's the info on when and where:

Protect our Coast- Stop the Cuts to Marine Safety Day of Action Saturday,

April 18 at 12:30 pm PDT

Davie and Denman St.






Vancouverites are concerned about the immediate ramifications and the long-term implications of the English Bay oil spill, especially with regard to the prevention of and responsiveness to a much larger spill. There is also a significant concern about the spill's toxic brew moving up the food chain.





The City of Vancouver remains worried about the immediate and long-term repercussions of the English Bay bunker fuel spill, but the most important thing on its to-do list is planning for a larger scale emergency, city manager Penny Ballem told council on Tuesday. ...

“We were lucky… we need to be prepared for a much bigger, much harder and much faster response,” she said. ...

The city is conducting sampling of the water and sediment around its beaches to monitor environmental changes. It is concerned the oil will impact mussels and plankton and subsequently get into the food chain.

It’s also worried if it will be reimbursed for its costs, Ballem said. The ship’s owners are responsible to pay for the entire clean up, but this is expected to involve prosecution so the city has lawyered up. (The ship flies under the Cyprus flag but is managed by a company based in Greece.)


English Bay Oil Spill Map


Ballem suggested the city meet with officials from the Canadian Coast Guard, Transport Canada, Environment Canada and West Coast Marine Response Corporation to discuss what could happen in a larger spill, what equipment would be needed, where to put it and how to mobilize a quick response. ...

It may have been a small spill, but it impacted six kilometres of beaches and affected 30 birds. There is no timeframe to re-open the beaches to the public.

As a precaution, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has closed all recreational crab and shellfish fishing between Point Grey to Point Atkinson to the west side of the Lions Gate Bridge.






If so much damage can be caused by a small 600 gallon oil spill, what about a big tanker or pipeline spill -something that the likelihood of which would grow sevenfold (http://globalnews.ca/news/900601/kinder-morgan-pipeline-expansion-will-i...) if the Kinder Morgan pipeline were to go ahead?

The following article discusses the 10 largest oil spills in history. While the largest was the destruction of the Kuwaiti oil fields during the 1991 Gulf War, the fourth largest involved two oil tankers colliding (Atlantic Empress, 1979) to release 88.3 million gallons. For single tanker collisions, the largest released 80 million gallons (ABT Summer, 1991, 7th largest oil spill); Castillo de Bellver, 1983, 78.5 million gallons 8th largest); Amoco Cadiz, 1978, 68.7 million gallons, 9th largest); Odyssey Oil Spill, 1988, 700 nautical miles off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, 43 million gallons 10th largest). In other words a single tanker spill often releases more oil than many major oil field calamities.


The 11 million gallon Exxon Valdez 1989 tanker oil spill off Alaska was only the 34th largest in history. Yet, its continues to cause major damage more than 25 years after the spill.




Direct contact with the oil slick killed at least 140 bald eagles, 302 harbor seals, 2800 sea otters and 250,00 seabirds within a few days. Four people died as part of the clean-up efforts. ...

Even though it was only the 34th worst oil spill in history, its impact on the Alaskan shoreline made it the nation's biggest environmental disaster since Three Mile Island. (Source: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council; Fry, D. Michael,How Exxon's "Video for Students" Deals in Distortions)

Economic Impact of Wildlife Loss:

Wildlife value is measured by the cost to obtain or rehabilitate them. ... Total cost for just these four species (otter, harbor seals, sea birds, and eagles) in the first week was $218.6 million. (Source: Replacement Costs of Birds and Mammals)

Economic Impact of Exxon Oil Spill:

Fisheries for salmon, herring,crab, shrimp, rockfish and sablefish were closed, with some Shrimp and salmon commercial fisheries remaining closed through 1990. Herring and salmon species never fully recovered, which means the commercial fishing industry that depends on them haven't either. Over 2,000 Alaskan Native Americans and 13,000 other subsistence permit holders lost the source of their food. This continues today, as many are afraid of being poisoned by contaminated fish.

The tourism industry immediately lost over 26,000 jobs and more than $2.4 billion in sales. By 2003, it had recovered somewhat. Passive use cost the state $2.8 billion, and it too has never fully recovered since vacationers still think of the area as contaminated. (Source: NOAA)

Now, 20 years after the spill, about 20 acres of Prince William Sound shoreline are still contaminated with oil. Two species have never come back, ten species haven't quite come back, and five are unknown. ...

Economic Impact to Exxon:

Exxon spent over $3.8 billion to clean up the site, compensate the 11,000 residents and pay fines. However, it could have been $4.5 billion more. The Alaskan court ordered Exxon to pay $5 billion in punitive damages in 1994. After 14 years of lawsuits and appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Exxon only owed $507.5 million - about 12 hours of revenue for the giant oil company. (Source: Larry West, About.com Guide to the Environment)





We simply can't risk such catastrophes. 




British Columbia's NDP MPs are demanding that the Con government immediately reopen the Kitsilano Coast Guard station and the Marine Communications and Traffic Service Centre in order to improve regulation of marine traffic and greatly reduce the reduce the response time both for oil spills and first responder rescue in the case of marine accidents.

If the Cons do not do this, they promise that an NDP government will. 


“An NDP government will immediately re-open the Kitsilano Coast Guard base, re-open the Marine Communications and Traffic Service Centre in Ucluelet, and stop closures of these centres in Vancouver and Comox,” said NDP Fisheries and Oceans deputy critic Fin Donnelly (New Westminster—Coquitlam).

“But these steps to protect our coast are too important to wait until the next election,” Donnelly said, at the site of the former Kitsilano Coast Guard base. “That’s why we’re urging Prime Minister Harper to listen to the public and act now. Last week’s oil spill in Vancouver Harbour illustrated just how much is at risk.”

This morning, BC’s 12 NDP MPs wrote a joint letter to Harper, asking him to take immediate action to reverse cuts to Coast Guard services. The New Democrats have also launched a petition campaign. ...

NDP candidate Constance Barnes (Vancouver Centre) said it’s time for the Conservatives to listen to British Columbians on this issue. “When I sat on the Vancouver Parks Board, we fought hard on this issue, but the Conservatives would not respond. I hope this incident will finally get their attention.”

 North Vancouver NDP candidate Carleen Thomas said she is pressing the Conservatives for immediate action because the coastline is too crucial to the ecosystem, economy and culture.

“We have a duty to protect the marine environment and communities that depend on it,” said Thomas, who works for the Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s Sacred Trust Initiative.


Carleen Thomas is a First Nations activist, who works for the Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s Sacred Trust Initiative, and is the NDP nominee for North Vancouver. Having already seen the down the of the fishery for First Nations and others in the Vancouver region, she knows how important an oil-free marie environment is to First Nations. 



The Musqueam First Nation is issuing a public notice to its fishers that the Musqueam Fisheries Department is closing all aquatic harvesting in the English Bay,  .... and.... areas until further notice. This includes the removal of prawn, crab and .... Due to the bunker oil  spilled in English Bay Musqueam is asking its members to take all precautions, including reporting any related oil that may be in the waters or onshore.




Left Turn Left Turn's picture

Was the NDP not aware of the major rally against bill C-51 that's been scheduled for tommorrow at 1pm at the Art Gallery, and has been for several weeks?



Left Turn wrote:

Was the NDP not aware of the major rally against bill C-51 that's been scheduled for tommorrow at 1pm at the Art Gallery, and has been for several weeks?


I don't know. I simply posted this from an url.