A planned spill response base in Port Alberni is on hold. (WCMRC)

B.C. cities push for spill response base despite Trans Mountain decision

UBCM delegates voted to ask the province to continue building bases

Port Alberni council got the support of their peers last week, as their fellow mayors and councillors voted to ask the province to go ahead with a spill response that had been halted along with Trans Mountain.

Delegates at the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Whistler voted Friday morning to ask the province to continue the spill response measures put in limbo after the federal appeals court struck down the pipeline.

Coun. Chris Alemany, who brought the resolution forward, said that federal ownership of Trans Mountain meant that it was government, not industry, who needed to pay for the spill response.

“Now that the federal government is an owner of the pipeline, the federal government has a responsibility to guarantee a response base, whether the pipeline happens or not,” said Alemany following the convention.

READ MORE: B.C. spill response plans in limbo after Trans Mountain decision

Initially, a $150 million spill response had been made a condition of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion by the National Energy Board,

The money was to be collected by Western Canada Marine Response Corp. from an impending toll on the expanded pipeline.

The corporation is an industry-funded organization tasked with responding to and cleaning up spills along B.C.’s coast.

So far, WCMRC has spent 13 per cent of the planned $150 million spill response.

But those plans were put on hold, WCMRC communications director Michael Lowry told Black Press Media earlier this month.

When the pipeline approval was struck down in early September, Lowry said that spill response plans were being put on hold.

Those plans included six bases – Vancouver Harbour, near Annacis Island in the Fraser River, in Nanaimo, the Saanich Peninsula, Beecher Bay near Sooke and in Port Alberni.

WCMRC has already signed a 25-year lease for the Port Alberni base, located near Harbour Quay.

“The spill response bases are going to be a huge economic driver on the Island and on the coast,” Alemany said.

“They represent a significant number of jobs.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Fire crews suppress smouldering fire on Highway 19 north of Campbell River

Wildfire reached .25 hectares, according to BC Wildfire Service

Wheelchair accessibility setting Island’s Rathtrevor Beach park apart

Friends enjoy special annual camping trip at Parksville’s popular provincial park

Editorial: Time for action on national pharmacare plan

The report calls for a basic plan for essential medications by 2022, and comprehensive list by 2027

Island farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted near Parksville

Juan de Fuca Marine Trail re-opens after lengthy repairs

The trail has been closed since February

VIDEO: B.C. First Nation plans to launch legal challenge after Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, Premier John Horgan says he’ll continue to defend the B.C. coast

Pair of B.C. cities crack Ashley Madison’s “Infidelity Hotlist”

Data from the website reveals Abbotsford and Kelowna hottest spots for cheaters

Life’s work of talented B.C. sculptor leads to leukemia

Former Salmon Arm resident warns of dangers of chemical contact

Billboard posted along B.C.’s Highway of Tears to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women

Billboards featuring Indigenous artwork to be placed in Surrey, Kamloops and near Prince George

Risk of thunderstorms in Wednesday’s forecast

Plus a look ahead at the weekend forecast

TimberWest won’t log above Youbou this year in wake of landslide risk report

Forest company doesn’t rule out future logging, conducting its own study on viability of terrain

Federal cabinet ministers visit Edmonton, Calgary, in wake of TMX approval

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi is set to visit Trans Mountain Corp.’s terminal in Edmonton

RCMP investigating suspicious fire at Nanaimo apartment building

Early morning fire ignited under balcony at building on Glen Eagle Crescent

Joint effort helps extinguish shop fire in Coombs

Firefighters quickly contain blaze that spread to nearby trees

Most Read