Bill C-48 is described, by the Senate of Canada as:
Why is the North coast of BC more important than, say, Quebec or Atlantic Canada? Ron Wallace, a fellow at the independent, non-partisan Canadian Global Affairs Institute asked that question in an opinion piece in the Calgary Herald late last year. He cited data from Clear Seas, another non-profit organization, but one which advocates for marine shipping in Canada.
Clear Seas says that Canada has seven major oil ports:
It says that “The largest tankers transiting Canadian waters are Ultra-Large Crude Carriers (ULCC) (350,000 – 550,000 DWT), which transit the east coast of Canada. ULCCs are the largest tankers in the world and they can carry up to 4 million barrels of oil … [but] … On the west coast the largest tankers that are used to ship oil out of the Port of Vancouver are Aframax tankers (80,000 – 120,000 DWT). They can carry approximately 850,000 barrels of oil.” There is some, very tiny, transport of petroleum into the Arctic, to support isolated Arctic communities, but that is expected to grow in the coming years.
Clear Seas also says that:
So why is it urgent to prohibit tanker traffic, except for the smallest, coastal vessels, in and through the north coast of British Columbia?
Anyone who has, as I have, visited the north coast of BC will affirm that it is an area of rare scenic beauty and home to the iconic and threatened northern killer whales …
… but is it more beautiful, more important than, say, the Gaspésie in Québec? And are the killer whales in more danger than the endangered* blue whales in the Gulf of St Lawrence and the Atlantic coast?
I think the only logical conclusion one can draw about Bill C-48 is that it is designed to close northern BC ports to Canadian gas and oil exports. It is just another part of the ongoing Trudeau agenda which aims to make Canada appear virtuous but to be weak. I do not believe that any reasonable person can conclude that the killer whales and other forms of marine life in northern BC are in greater need of protection than then even more seriously imperilled whales of the Gulf of St Lawrence. Equally, the scenic splendour of e.g. Haida Gwaii is surely matched by that in Québec and Atlantic Canada. (Can anyone, quickly, say which picture is from BC and which is from Québec?)
Bill C-48 is, in my (admittedly biased but still considered) opinion, clearly and indisputably a partisan political attempt to curry favour with the urban Laurentian Elites in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal who are, already, predisposed to look down their noses at those (Western Canadians) who raise cattle and mine for oil, and Elizabeth May’s green at any cost community. The simple fact is that Québec, above all, is only too happy to import its oil from Saudi Arabia and Iran rather than from Alberta (and it is equally happy to dump its raw sewage into the Fleuve Saint-Laurent (Kaniatarowanenneh in the Mohawk language spoken along its shores)) and the green movement, all across Canada has decided, at the behest of e.g. the (foreign) Tides Foundation, to try to landlock Canadian petroleum.
I have no doubt that Bill C-48 is popular amongst many, perhaps even most Canadians. But it is fundamentally wrong and its main outcome will be to deepen the growing sense of alienation in Western Canada and sharpen the differences between regions. It needs to be defeated in the Senate, which is in dire need of reform and about which I will say more, tomorrow, and then withdrawn … if it passes then the Conservative Party needs to commit itself to repeal or amend it. Canada does not need more national disunity which is what Justin Trudeau is fomenting.
* Endangered seems to be worse than threatened on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans scale.