Re: “Oil-tanker penalties to be beefed up,” March 19.
It’s difficult to take the federal government seriously when it establishes a tanker-safety panel, yet continues to operate two single-hull 43-year-old military tankers.
The Canadian Navy relies on HMCS Protecteur, based at CFB Esquimalt, and HMCS Preserver, based at CFB Halifax, for replenishment at sea. Unfortunately, they are both single-hull Cold War relics that violate most international safety standards. It’s the height of hypocrisy for one branch of the government to declare environmental concern while another disregards the most basic environmental precautions.
It’s also interesting to note that of the eight measures introduced by Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver and Transportation Minister Denis Lebel in the new Safeguarding Canada’s Seas and Skies Act, not one refers to the dangers of single-hull tankers.
What other safety precautions will the federal government, and soon-to-be tanker safety panel, conveniently disregard? Until HMCS Protecteur is decommissioned and removed from Esquimalt Harbour, British Columbians have every right to be skeptical of the federal government’s “world-class tanker safety system.”
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