Opinion: Open letter re: oil tanker traffic

Juan de Fuca regional director pens letter to federal ministry

Honorable Peter Kent

Minister of the Environment

Ottawa, Canada

 

Dear sir:

I am the elected Regional Director for the Juan de Fuca located on Vancouver Island.  I wish to add our voice to the many British Columbians that oppose increased oil tanker traffic through the Juan de Fuca Strait and west coast of Vancouver Island.

My constituents between East Sooke and Port Renfrew, including the Pacheedaht and T’Sou-ke First Nations are totally dependent on the pristine, unspoiled and natural state of the shoreline and ocean.  Our livelihoods and daily lives are intertwined with our coastal waters including Federal and Provincial Marine Parks such as the West Coast Trail , China Beach, and French Beach and one of the world’s greatest natural reefs and fishing areas, the Swiftsure Bank.The Swiftsure Bank is located at the western entrance to the Juan de Fuca Strait and supports a concentrated mass of surface life including krill, shrimp, herring, pilchards, salmon, killer whales and humpback whales. Transport Canada’s positioning of Buoy Juliet has forced all Seattle and Vancouver freighter traffic to converge in a two mile corridor directly over the bank and without Canadian pilots on board, a major collision is inevitable. Increased crude oil tankers traffic will only increase the odds of an environmental catastrophe.

An environmental disaster involving crude oil would be devastating for the Juan de Fuca residents. Before granting permission for the expansion of the Kinder Morgan’s export of crude oil from Vancouver,  we ask that you  conduct meaningful consultations with the residents of Juan de Fuca, the Pacheedaht First Nations and the T’Sou’ke First Nations.

Until then, we are opposed to any increased oil tanker traffic through the Juan de Fuca Strait.

Sincerely,

Mike Hicks

Regional Director

Juan de Fuca