Insult to Injury

The bunker fuel spill from a ship in Vancouver’s English Bay last week was a good test for the Canadian Coast Guard, Transport Canada and Environment Canada. After closing the Vancouver-based Environmental Emergencies office in 2012, and laying off staff specifically trained to deal with oil spills, Ottawa added insult to injury by closing the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station in 2013. This, says the former station commander, resulted in a six-hour delay in response time to the English Bay oil spill. When the City of Vancouver petitioned the National Energy Board for information about Kinder Morgan’s emergency response plan — should its proposed seven-fold increase in Tar Sands shipping out of Vancouver come to pass — the feds told local government to take a hike.

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