NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association voice opposition to the federal government’s plan to formalize a crude oil tanker ban on British Columbia’s coastline;
AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association participate in the public engagement process as laid out by the Federal Ministry of Transport to indicate opposition of the crude oil tanker ban.
WHEREAS the energy sector contributes approximately $9.5 billion (four-year average) in annual royalties, bonuses and crown land sales from the oil and gas industry;
WHEREAS Canada’s oil and natural gas sector provides 20 percent of the Alberta government’s revenue;
WHEREAS Canada’s oil and gas sector can create jobs for more than 315,000 Albertans;
WHEREAS the devastating impacts in the downturn of the economy have been felt by all Canadians, businesses and government;
WHEREAS to maximize the value of Canadian resources, market access is paramount;
WHEREAS the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, has been mandated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to formalize a crude oil tanker ban on British Columbia’s (BC) coastline (Source: Government of Canada);
WHEREAS Transport Canada has created a process to seek Canadians’ views on what should be considered in shaping the potential parameters of a crude oil tanker ban on BC’s coastline (Source: Government of Canada); and
WHEREAS public engagement on the proposed crude oil tanker moratorium will close September 30, 2016 (Source: Government of Canada);
The Federal Government aims to formalize a crude oil tanker moratorium on British Columbia’s coastline.
As part of the public consultation process, the federal government through the Transport Canada is now inviting Canadian to share their perspectives through written submissions about “…how we can formalize a moratorium to protect our waters and coastlines without losing economic benefits from shipping”. The public engagement process ends September 30, 2016.
If implemented, the crude oil tanker ban on British Columbia’s coastline will severely impede Alberta’s ability to diversify markets for our products and have significant consequences for western access projects, such as the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project.
The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, has been mandated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to improve marine safety on all coasts and to formalize a crude oil tanker ban on British Columbia’s (BC) coastline. This is part of the federal government’s long-term agenda to identify actions that would support Canada’s marine transportation system and encourage long-term economic growth in a way that does not harm marine or coastal environments.
Transport Canada has created a process to seek Canadians’ views on what should be considered in shaping the potential parameters of a crude oil tanker ban on BC’s coastline. This process, thus far, has included meetings with British Columbia coastal stakeholders and indigenous organizations, leaders and communities. In late August, the public consultation process was opened to all Canadians to share their views. Public engagement on the proposed crude oil tanker moratorium will close September 30, 2016.
SCOPE OF THE MORATORIUM:
The types of ships that could be covered by the ban could include any ships constructed or adapted to carry oil in bulk as cargo (e.g. tankers). The definition of a tanker can include a barge when it is carrying large amounts of persistent oil (over 2,000 gross tonnes of oil). It should be noted that barges carrying over 2,000 gross tonnes of persistent oil do call at ports in northern BC for community and industry resupply. In addition, there are large ships that carry significant amounts of bunker fuel in their tanks calling at ports in northern BC. The potential impact on regional communities, ports, industries, and the national economy and its supply chains will be considered.
IMPACT ON ALBERTA COMMUNITIES
- There will be further erosion of our highly skilled work force. Projects, such as the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project, would keep these people here to maintain and grow Alberta’s skilled labour base.
- Almost 3,000 skilled Alberta tradespeople and workers won’t have the opportunity to work on the three phases of Northern Gateway’s construction.
- These people will live and work in Alberta communities and enhance all Albertans quality of life.
- Northern Gateway will provide 380 long term operational jobs in Alberta.
- The energy industry is critical to Alberta’s municipal tax base.
IMPACT ON ALBERTA
- One of Alberta’s most valuable resources is crude oil, but 99% of all our oil exports go to the United States, now one of our biggest competitors, who purchases our crude oil at deeply discounted prices.
- The recent dramatic drop in oil prices coupled with the lack of pipeline infrastructure is not only affecting future production, but also jeopardizing existing Canadian oil production.
- Getting a better price for our crude oil means more royalties collected by the Government of Alberta which can be invested in Alberta schools, universities, hospitals and infrastructure.
- The significant decrease in oil prices has negatively impacted levels of investment and employment.
IMPACT ON NORTHERN GATEWAY
- Northern Gateway will provide significant access to new markets in the Pacific Rim to secure fair market prices for Alberta’s oil.
- Projects like Northern Gateway can help the federal government ensure that the BC coast is safer for all those who operate there. Northern Gateway will result in increased prevention of incidents through land-based radar to the north coast as well as navigational aids such as new lights, beacons and buoys and approach channels.
- Northern Gateway will significantly increase spill response capacity along its marine shipping routes. This will make British Columbia’s coastline safer for all vessels.
- Northern Gateway will provide a badly needed multi-billion dollar private infrastructure investment in Alberta’s future including spending $1.5 billion in Alberta communities. The proposed tanker ban will eliminate this badly needed investment in Alberta and Canada’s future prosperity.
ALBERTANS SUPPORT NORTHERN GATEWAY
In June 2016, communities along Northern Gateway’s route expressed their support for Northern Gateway’s extension request by sending letters to the National Energy Board including:
- 20 out of 20 Alberta communities along pipeline route,
- 17 out of 18 First Nations and Métis communities,
- Unanimous support from the Alberta Chamber of Commerce.
PUTTING ALBERTANS BACK TO WORK
- With the current downturn in our economy, Alberta is losing our highly skilled work force. Northern Gateway will keep these people here to maintain and grow Alberta’s skilled labour base.
In February 2017 the federal government indicated it is proceeding with a moratorium on oil tankers but amendments to the product list could be considered following a review assessing scientific advancements around the behavior of the oil product in water and the state of clean-up technology and preparedness to respond to a spill.
In November 2016, the federal government had announced its intention to introduce legislation by spring 2017 to formalize a moratorium for crude oil tankers on BC's north coast. See news release:
The resolution was submitted to the federal consultation process in October 2016.
AUMA has requested that the regulatory review of the product list commence as soon as possible.
Based on the Infrastructure and Energy Committee’s recommendation, on April 4, 2017AUMA sent a letter to the Minister of Transport Canada urging the government to continue to ensure that the ban strikes the appropriate balance between enabling market access and protecting the environment and request that the regulatory review of the product list commence as soon as possible. See letter in information items. The Federal Government Introduced proposed legislation enabling the ban on May 12. The legislation will take effect in the coming months if it passes three readings in the House of Commons and Senate, then receives Royal Assent.
As of May 18, 2018 bill C-28 the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act was passed by the House of Commons. It has received first reading in the Senate but has been stuck on second reading since June 2018. Part of the discussion in the Senate have been around what products should or should not be banned.
AUMA has rejected the federal government's response and is working to raise this issue with Senators and others.