Threats: Pipelines and oil tankers

Publication - February 17, 2010
Canada’s second largest pipeline company, Enbridge, has proposed to build a 1,170-kilometre Northern Gateway pipeline that would flow more than half a million barrels of crude oil a day from Alberta’s tar sands out to the pristine Great Bear Rainforest.

Once there, it will be loaded onto more than 200 oil supertankers per year that would navigate the same coastal waters where the Queen of the North ferry sank in 2006. The proposed pipelines would cross approximately 1,000 rivers and streams, including B.C.’s salmon-rich Fraser and Skeena watersheds.

Accidents happen. If oil tankers are brought to the Great Bear Rainforest, it’s not a question of if a spill will occur, but when, where and how large. When you move oil, you spill oil. No amount of technology or precaution can eliminate human or mechanical error. Enbridge has a record of more than 65 spills annually. 

Seventy-two per cent of British Columbians oppose oil tanker traffic on B.C.’s north coast, and are in favour of a permanent oil tanker ban. Coastal First Nations are also united in their opposition to tankers carrying crude oil from the tar sands.