Chamber of Shipping: BC tanker moratorium 'dangerous economic signal'

The following is the text of a news release from the Chamber of Shipping:

(VANCOUVER, British Columbia) — The Canadian government's decision to implement a moratorium on crude oil shipment to and from ports in northern British Columbia sends a dangerous economic signal while not addressing risk appropriately.

The Chamber of Shipping strongly advocates for the vigorous protection of our pristine coastlines, and we have been proud to lend our voice to the chorus of support for initiatives like the government's Oceans Protection Plan (OPP). Our members have eagerly participated in a range of programs designed to advance safe shipping practices and reduce our ecological impact.

However, we do not support the moratorium announced Friday. Firstly, it contradicts a crucial pillar of the federal government's stated approach to environmental protection: evidence-based decision making. It also flies in the face of the OPP, which commits to focusing resources on determining and addressing real safety and environmental risks identified through scientific research.

Secondly, the moratorium sends a very harmful signal to the international investment community. Canada is now the first and only country in the world to legislatively ban the trade of multiple commodities. The establishment of this moratorium may have unintended consequences from coast to coast and set a precedent that could ultimately impact Canadian jobs and the economy.

"At a time when the U.S. is focused on its global competitiveness, this unnecessarily extreme approach tells our current and potential trading partners that Canada is closed for business," said Robert Lewis-Manning, president of the Chamber of Shipping.

Lastly, we are disappointed that the federal government ignored our recommendations for a comprehensive marine spatial planning approach that would bring together multiple users of the ocean — including First Nations, government, industry, conservation advocates, and recreational users — to address concerns. This pragmatic approach would have encouraged collaborative problem-solving, as well as clarity and consensus around policy development.

In British Columbia and across Canada, our continued prosperity and high standard of living depend on our ability to deliver resources in a responsible and competitive manner. Canada remains a strong trading nation, with one in five Canadian jobs and more than 60 percent of our gross domestic product directly linked to exports. In order to preserve our competitiveness worldwide, it is critical that the Canadian government supports our national supply chain.

By Professional Mariner Staff