City of North Vancouver council is throwing its support behind provincial government’s efforts to obtain clarity from the Supreme Court of Canada on who will be bear responsibility in the event of an oil spill.
Councillors were voting on a motion brought forward by Councillor Craig Keating, who said any spill from the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion could negatively impact the city’s waterfront properties and businesses.
He said there needs to be better clarity on who will foot the cost in the event of a spill.
People have moved here to buy places near the waterfront, and in some case they have given millions of dollars to be near that waterfront. We have also developed a vibrant economy on that waterfront, driven by tourism and other competing industries there. We don’t know what right we have and what any other level of government has to protect the investment we have made as a waterfront urban community.
We may be on the hook for tens of millions of dollars, and be on the hook for jobs losses, not tourist are going to come to water that has been fouled by oil spills,” he said. He said the provincial government has only looked at the land base proportions and hasn’t examined any potential impacts of any spills.
According to the notice of motion he brought before council, there has been a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic in the Burrard Inlet will increase the risks to neighbouring municipalities of spills of diluted bitumen, and thousands of current jobs and economic activity is at risk. He said till date no one has made it clear who will bear the cost of clean-up if there is a spill.