June 21, Victoria – Dogwood Initiative is applauding a statement from Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff this morning declaring his party’s support for strong legislation banning oil tankers on BC’s north coast; as well as a commitment to work with other parties if there are opportunities to move legislation while still in Opposition.
“We are closer than ever to the real solution: legislation protecting our north coast from a catastrophic oil spill,” said Eric Swanson, leader of Dogwood’s No Tankers Campaign. “There are now only two types of federal politicians: those who support a legislated oil tanker ban for BC’s north coast, and those who don’t. In BC, the Conservatives are now isolated. Their minority in Parliament can’t hold back the tide.”
Support for a ban on oil tanker traffic has jumped from 72% to 80% of British Columbians since the Gulf Oil disaster. With the Liberal Party on side, there is now an opportunity to pass legislation banning tankers over the opposition of the Conservative government.
“The announcement puts the Liberal position in line with the vast majority of British Columbians,” continues Swanson. “Their Party is now supportive of the clearest, most resilient way to keep oil tankers off our north coast. The next step is to actually getting the job done, and I sincerely hope the Liberals won’t pass up any opportunities to show their metal while still in Opposition.”
The announcement is yet another bit of bad news for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project. The legislated tanker ban supported by the Liberal Party would prohibit the proposed supertankers required by Enbridge, therefore quashing the project. “All parties would best be served by Enbridge dropping their project now,” says Swanson. “That includes British Columbians, the company itself, and the project’s investors.”
“British Columbians of all political stripes have come together to protect our coast. It’s what we expect of our leaders as well,” concluded Swanson.