A motion introduced by MP Nathan Cullen to ban oil tankers off B.C.’s north and central coasts was passed in the House of Commons today (December 7).
The motion, which passed 143-138 with support from the opposition Liberals and Bloc Quebecois, calls on the federal government to legislate a moratorium on “bulk oil tanker traffic” in the Dixon entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound.
The MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley said he was impressed with the strength of a grassroots campaign to garner support for the motion, which was introduced last Thursday.
“The inbox is full, we’ve got phone calls happening all over the place, and I know this has been happening for MPs across British Columbia, and other parts of Canada,” he told the Straight by phone today.
Cullen said the motion, which was developed in consultation with First Nations leaders and other communities, stems largely out of a concern for environmental protection and for protection of the wild salmon and other industries on the Skeena river.
He called potential oil tanker traffic a “direct threat to the environment and the very fabric of our culture, which is ultimately a salmon culture in the north west”.
Cullen is doubtful the government will bring forward legislation for an official moratorium.
“Are they going to do this? I hope they do, but I doubt it," he said. "Is there going to be political backlash? I guarantee it.”