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

Community gives Vancouver Island couple a new roof for Christmas

Kathy Bocking, who suffered with cancer, said it was an “incredible surprise

320 years since the ‘Big One’ doesn’t mean it’s overdue: Canada Research Chair

‘It could happen today, tomorrow or 100 years from now’

Robert Barron column: There are heroes among us

The five men who I saw bundled up and sped away in ambulances tried their best to save him

Island man straddles the line between furniture and art

Local timber framer Chris Zumkeller makes foray into the world of fine art with wood creations

UVic researchers develop industry-changing ‘hyper-glue’

‘Cross-linking’ technology already playing a role in performance body armour

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

Man arrested after standoff with Victoria police following ‘serious assault’

Police were called early Sunday morning following an assault in the building

Kingfisher Resort unveils spectacular winter light display

Visit Comox Valley resort’s lighted garden free of charge over the holiday season

Newest piece of public art arrives on Oak Bay Avenue

Contest opens to rename ‘Stickman’ driftwood sculpture

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Most Read