Tugboat leakage a man-made fiasco

B.C. and Ottawa not prepared properly for oil tanker spill

To the editor:

As a landlubber, I know nothing about navigating oil tankers or tugboats with a fuel barges.

However, most landlubbers have a modicum of common sense and can recognize a man-made fiasco when they see one.

The response to the “relatively minor” diesel spill near Bella Bella has been inept.

Corporate assurances that the proposed huge oil tankers would be accident-free are deceitful. Supporting the scheme for shipping diluted bitumen along British Columbia’s rugged northern coast is unconscionable.

I might change my mind if Big Oil’s silver-tongued spokesmen would guarantee a $1 billion trust fund (without any loopholes or strings attached) to cover any unforeseen disaster.

If the risk is as infinitesimal as they claim, then the insurance premiums for such an insurance policy should be insignificant.

Of course they do not want to be saddled with that kind of liability; they want taxpayers on the hook for anything really big.

If Canada is going to export Alberta’s heavy oil, then it should be shipped through Vancouver. Thousands of eyes will be watching and the cost of any mistakes – large or small – will be high enough to keep the corporations focused on safety, which means ample resources and well-trained personnel to insure a quick effective response.

In other words, the exact opposite to what happened at Bella Bella.

Lloyd Atkins

Vernon