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Comments Effecting Canadian Events – Ken McGregor

The Bow River and OIL Tankers

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I was just sitting here trying to put myself in the Haisla Nations shoes thinking how I would like big oil tankers sailing up the Bow river to load up on oil at a Calgary port. I have to admit I would be more than a bit concerned of a tanker sinking and spilling oil. It would devastate everyone along the Bow for decades.

The Haisli Nation is  located at the head of the Douglas Channel on British Columbia’s North Coast and figures predominately in the proposed Gateway Pipeline that will ship oil sands bitumen from Alberta to Kitimat on the BC coast, than on to tankers to world markets. Just take a look at this rather noisy video and see what the channel looks like , then vision what it would look like with an oil spill. An oil spill in the channel would take years to clean up.

Douglas Channel Video

When looking at the topography of the channel there is a lot of towns and villages that depend on the channel for their livelihood. After the Exxon Valdez disaster in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989, were up to 32 million US gallons were dumped, I can’t blame the local population for being concerned. It just takes one spill and it’s all over.

The Haisli Nation isn’t against exporting our natural resources, they just want to protect their home. They have already agreed to LNG Tankers travelling the Douglas Channel . After years of study they concluded that the natural gas would do little harm if there was an accident since the gas would evaporate. Unfortunately the oil won’t evaporate and there is no guarantee that there won’t be a spill destroying their homes. So the problem. If the shoe was on the other foot what would you do? I would look for another more isolated port that could be more easily cleaned up in case of a spill . We know the problem but as yet no one has stepped up with a solution. In the mean time Albertans and Canadians have trillions of dollars of wealth landlocked. The federal Government may or may not have the right to approve the Gateway Pipeline but I seriously doubt that any company in their right mind would build it without the full support of the community and this support is a long ways away.

Again , if this oil tanker port was being built in Calgary on the Bow River citizens up and down the river would be having a coronary . So if we don’t want OIL TANKERS in our own back yard I suggest we find a back yard that wants it. Instead of this ridiculous panel and hearings going on in Edmonton we need experts searching for a more suitable port. The sooner we get this resolved the better for all Canadians.

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