Letters: Open Letter to Minister of the Environment

District of Sooke mayor writes to oppose tanker traffic

The Honourable Peter Kent

Minister of the Environment

Les Terrasses de la Chaudiere

10 Wellington Street, 28th Floor

Gatineau, Quebec

K1A 0H3

 

Dear Sir;

I am the elected Mayor for the District of Sooke, a community located on the south west corner of Vancouver Island and on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. I wish to add our voice to the many British Columbians that oppose increased oil tanker traffic through the Juan de Fuca Strait and past the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

Our community is dependent on the pristine natural state of the shoreline and ocean for our livelihood which includes sport fishing, commercial fishing, kayaking, surfing and many other ocean related activities. Our community borders the Straits as well as Sooke Harbour which joins the Juan de Fuca Strait and both are key to our economic and social well being.

Currently there are a large number of military vessels, freighters and oil tankers travelling through Juan de Fuca Strait all converging on a narrow sea lane for passage. There have been a number of near misses recorded in recent years so I believe it is inevitable that a major collision will occur in the future. Increasing the number of oil tankers by five times will only bring that inevitable disaster to our shores earlier.

We saw what happened with the Exxon Valdez a tanker that carried only 25 per cent of what today’s tankers will carry. There is no fail safe method to transport oil over water and we know that Canada’s ability to respond to a major oil spill is limited at best. A major spill of even the magnitude of the Exxon Valdez would be devastating to the waters and surrounding shores of our community.

The implications of granting permission for the expansion of the Kinder Morgan export of crude oil from Vancouver are simply not acceptable without meaningful consultation. The people who potentially will be most affected by any disaster need to be involved in the decision making process.

Until you embark on a process of meaningful consultation we are opposed to any increased oil tranker traffic through the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Sincerely,

Wendal Milne, Mayor

 

cc: The Right Honorable Steven Harper

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Richard Pierce is the Goldstream Gazette’s 2021 Unsung Hero of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Navy veteran helping others cope with post-traumatic stress disorder

Rich Pearce is the West Shore 2021 Unsung Hero

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Strong winds predicted for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issues warning for Thursday afternoon

The value of new construction in North Saanich topped $52.1 million in 2020 (Peninsula News Review)
Value of new construction in North Saanich topped $52.1 million in 2020

New figures also show 25 per cent increase in number of new secondary suites

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: Greater Victoria teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

One year in, teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressure from families

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

The Port of Nanaimo has signed a 50-year-agreement with DP World around short-sea shipping operations at Duke Point Terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)
Lease ‘important first step’ in $105-million Nanaimo port expansion project

Port of Nanaimo and DP World sign 50-year shipping operations agreement for Duke Point

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read