May 15: Tankers are not the only threat

Re: “Bill C-48 and the ecological legacy of B.C.’s unique coast,” comment, May 12.

B.C.’s north and central coastal region is certainly a unique area and deserves careful consideration. However, Bill C-48 (the tanker ban) is only a half-measure.

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The most dangerous threat is the hundreds of merchant ships that ply the waters entering and leaving the Port of Prince Rupert each year. The number of tankers that would operate in this area would be insignificant compared with the other traffic.

Each merchant ship contains an unprotected, enormous heavy-oil fuel tank. Any leak from this type of ship would provide a much worse result than the modern tanker, which has smaller, isolated tanks that are double-bottomed to prevent leaks. Additionally, tankers operate under much stricter regulations, including escort tugs.

If one accepts the premise for the tanker ban, then it would be logical to ban all merchant ships, and the cessation of all incoming and outgoing trade. We could close hundreds of malls throughout the country and turn the freed land and our productive agricultural land back to nature.

But here is the big “but”: Government revenue would tank, jobs by the thousands would disappear, and our wonderful welfare, medical and educational systems would collapse.

Robin Allen

Victoria

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