EDITORIAL: Oil spill response troubling

Vancouver harbor incident has raised concerns which have yet to be fully and properly addressed.

The spill of bunker oil from a grain ship anchored in English Bay in Vancouver last week  has attracted a huge, perhaps even disparate amount of media attention. It has also resulted in politicians from all three levels of government pointing fingers at each other.

Neither of those factors highlights what should be the real focus of this incident — the ability of government agencies to deal effectively with oil spills, whether fuel from a cargo ship in harbour or at sea, or a cargo of crude oil or refined fuels which spills into the ocean.

The response to a relatively minor spill of fuel oil has been closely watched – not just by people in Vancouver, who have legitimate concerns about the state of their beaches, but by people from all over the province.

What they have seen has given most of them mixed feelings at best.

While the Coast Guard moved in and placed booms around the ship the fuel leaked from, that process took six hours – and this for a ship anchored in the harbour where the oil spill response crews are based.

The City of Vancouver was not notified for almost 13 hours after the spill was first reported. It was notified seven or eight hours after the oil spill booms began to be placed. Given the city’s responsibility for parks and beaches along the ocean that are used by thousands of people daily, this is inexcusable.

Political figures from the federal government have yet to speak up and promise that responding to oil spills on the coast is a top priority in Ottawa. It appears they are not.

This incident has raised concerns which have yet to be fully and properly addressed.

– Black Press

 

Just Posted

Cyclists and drivers take to the streets Wednesday morning in first official Bike to Work Week celebration

The 25th annual Greater Victoria Bike to Work Week kicks off the followingMonday, May 27

High of 21 C for Wednesday

Plus your weekend forecast

Rickter Scale: Testing that time of our lives

Rick Stiebel is a semi-retired local journalist

Saanich lifeguards earn Vital Link awards for cardiac arrest response

Awards from BC Emergency Health Services recognize quick and skillful life-saving

Art and fashion collide for a cause at the Union Club of Victoria

May 26 event benefits Art Gallery of Greater Victoria exhibitions and educational programs

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Crackdown on money laundering does not include federal public inquiry: minister

An independent report commissioned concluded $7.4 billion was laundered in B.C. last year

Trudeau’s action plan on climate change brings B.C. politician out of retirement

Terry Lake, a former B.C. health minister, is running for federal office in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo

Survey finds minimal progress in Canadian military’s fight against sexual misconduct

1.6 per cent of regular-force members — 900 military personnel — reported having been victims of sexual assaults over past year

Thetis housing project clouded by confusion

View Royal mayor clarifies details about Capital Region Housing Corporation project

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Most Read