Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau introduced Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, to the House of Commons in Ottawa today. The proposed federal legislation formalizes a crude oil tanker moratorium along the coast. The moratorium was an election promise made by Prime Minister Trudeau in 2015 and was made a priority of the Ministry of Transport.
The legislation will “prohibit oil tankers carrying crude and persistent oils as cargo from stopping, loading or unloading at ports or marine installations” along the coast, and covers Siigee Dixon Entrance, Kandaliigwii Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. The Act will also put in place fines up to five million dollars.
The legislation is intended to complement the Voluntary Tanker Exclusion Zone, put in place in 1985, and the $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan strategy. The OPP, announced in November 2016, is a federal plan to “create a world-leading marine safety system that provides new economic and partnership opportunities for Indigenous groups today, while protecting our [sic] coastlines for future generations”.