Kinder Morgan-owned company called in to clean up oil spill in English Bay

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      Environmentalists and politicians are using this week's oil spill in English Bay to highlight the risks of twinning Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline and multiplying the number of tankers passing through the waters around Vancouver.

      Ironically, Kinder Morgan apparently owns a majority stake in the company called in by the Canadian Coast Guard to clean up the spill that led the City of Vancouver to warn people to stay away from local beaches.

      That firm is Western Canada Marine Response Corporation. The WCMRC website states:

      We are completely funded by industry. Our shareholders are the 4 major oil companies (Imperial Oil, Shell Canada, Chevron and Suncor) and Trans Mountain pipelines. Our membership of more than 2,000 marine operators, air services, lumber mills, fishing camps, ferries, port authorities and cruise ships annual dues assist in WCMRC’s funding.

      Today (April 10), the Green Party of Canada raised questions about this situation. Former Whistler mayor Ken Melamed, Green candidate for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea-to-Sky Country, stated in a news release:

      Kinder Morgan owns more than 50% of the company called in to clean up the spill, Western Canadian Marine Response Corp. We need to know if the out-sourcing and privatization of spill response contributed to the unacceptable delays and if it is in fact cost effective for taxpayers?

      Meanwhile, the David Suzuki Foundation asserted that the "slow and confusing response" to the bunker-fuel slick proves that authorities are not ready for a major oil spill on the B.C. coast. In a news release, Jay Ritchlin, the foundation's director general for B.C., said:

      Our scenarios show that oil spills on the B.C. coast can be very difficult to deal with, and even with the best response only 15 per cent of the spill would likely be recovered. In the past 24 hours the response from the Coast Guard, Port Metro Vancouver and other agencies hasn’t demonstrated that we have the world class oil spill response promised by the federal government.

      Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau also chimed in with this statement:

      I used to live in this neighbourhood, and I know that any spills of this nature are of serious concern to British Columbians and all Canadians. Stephen Harper’s cuts to marine safety resources and the closure of Vancouver’s Kitsilano Coast Guard Base each undermine our ability to respond to spills like this. A new Liberal government will re-open a full-service Coast Guard station in Vancouver and re-invest in marine safety and oil spill response capacity on the BC coast.

      The city says it wasn't notified about the spill for 12 hours. The park board has warned people and pets to "stay out of the water and avoid the high tide line at the beaches around English Bay".




      Apr 10, 2015 at 6:57pm

      James Moore had a lot of nerve to put in a plug for the Cons "polluter pay" legislation (which doesn't seem to apply to tar sands extraction) and then criticize "other levels of government" (Christy and Gregor, presumably) for criticizing the Feds to gain political brownie points.

      Not to mention, but I will, that many vessels are registered in countries of convenience and not necessarily from where they are owned, operated and lNSURED. Good luck in getting these polluters to pay.

      This may be true, but this kind of shameful hypocrisy is simply par for the course for any spokesperson in the Harper cabinet and, frankly, almost the entire lot of our political overlords, be they municipal, provincial or federal.

      Re-election now trumps every other moral consideration that used to lay at the core of the human heart and where now altruism and self-sacrifice for the common good are considered a fool's game, including by us the electorate who vote these venal opportunists into power time and time again.

      Oil is not the end of the world, k?

      Apr 10, 2015 at 11:28pm

      Big deal. It'll just sink to the bottom. But the mainstream Marxist terdbag Canadian establishment will say nothing about Fukushima radiation, which is what actually causes deformed fish. Has oil on your skin ever killed you? Ask a mechanic you morons. Everyone interviewed for this piece is an ignorant Commie piece of trash of the New World Order, k?

      Allan Hughes

      Apr 11, 2015 at 9:58am

      Here is a link to what will become problematic for future spills when they occur, the Harper government is CLOSING the centre that alerts other agencies to spills.

      The Harper government is closing 3 Coast Guard MCTS centres in BC this year. The Coast Guard has also said new "technology and communications system is working fabulously" however, there are major outages and problems with the "new technology" that will see the Coast Guard Communications centres in Ucluelet close on April 21st, Vancouver May 6th and Comox next spring/winter.

      The Coast Guard under MAJOR budget pressures from the Harper government, tore out the old equipment in Prince Rupert before the new system was tested and fully operational, leaving a vast area of the Haida Gwaii offshore water unprotected by distress monitoring services. Vital weather information was unavailable for weeks and officers are now required to resort to manual recording of weather, which was to be eliminated. This is taking away from monitoring ship monitoring and safety of the waterway.

      The alerting centre in Vancouver, that started the notification process in the English Bay spill is closing on May 6th and those offcers being laid off. There is no replacement system in place to replace these officers and Ottawa is still trying to cobble some kind of system.

      Bottom line is, the Harper government has GUTTED front line Coast Guard boots on the ground, front line officers, while saying they have invested unprecedented amounts in Coast Guard. The ships, the technology and infrastructure may seem good on paper, but effective May 6th, there will no longer be a single Coast Guard employee in Canada's largest port, in Vancouver.

      a tough situation

      Apr 11, 2015 at 12:14pm

      This is a very tough situation for most GS commenters because they are so used to spewing vitriol at Harper, Clark and Robertson and now they might have to inadvertently not show hatred to one or two of them. I'm sure with a little work and bong load of their finest kush they'll find a way to squirt their poison at all three. Who thought an oil spill would be this inconvenient?

      Edward Bernays

      Apr 11, 2015 at 1:46pm

      Have the Sierra Club, Greenpeace and similar orgs ever considered pooling resources and starting a spill cleanup business. Seems like it could be a profitable venture in the coming years. Could fund a lot of enviro-positive campaigns.

      Polluter Pay Yourself?

      Apr 11, 2015 at 2:41pm

      These are the voyages of the P.M.S.Harper.

      Not surprised.....

      Apr 11, 2015 at 5:55pm

      That Justin Trudeau is already making promises if the Liberals are elected........I guess it's old fashion election campaigning....although it's not officially election campaign season.

      Only one party is opposed to the Kinder Morgan pipeline

      Apr 11, 2015 at 9:06pm

      Trudeau says he'd reopen the coast guard office and invest in better spill cleanup, if you'd only vote for him. But what he neglects to mention is that HE SUPPORTS THE KINDER MORGAN EXPANSION PROJECT. He has been quoted numerous times saying he very much wants to see the Kinder Morgan pipeline through Burnaby happen. Don't be misled. Conservatives want the pipeline, Liberals want the pipeline, NDP have said they are still open to it, awaiting the NEB process. The party to vote for is the Green Party of Canada, they are the ONLY party opposed to the pipeline. Watch the Greens this year, they have a ton of top-notch candidates this time and people are taking notice. The Green Party is going to surprise lot of people come election time!


      Apr 11, 2015 at 9:54pm

      I am surprised Mr.Trudeau did not fly in put on some rubber boots and scrub some rocks ,clean some birds . I mean what a great photo opportunity . The mayor and premier would also have to be there too.

      Alan Girling

      Apr 11, 2015 at 11:29pm

      It was Kinder Morgan, if I recall, that claimed as a plus job benefits for BC communities from clean up due to oil spills along the Enbridge route. This is the future. Profits taken from both ends. Don't spill, make money. Spill, make money.