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Support for World-Class Coastal Oil Spill Prevention, Preparedness and Response

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Resolution Category: 
Extraordinary 4
Adopted - Active
AUMA Board of Directors
Active Clauses: 

IT IS THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT the AUMA support the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) in its call for the federal government to support a world-class marine oil spill prevention, preparedness and response system.

Whereas Clauses: 

WHEREAS safeguarding west coast waterways is vital to all Canadians;

WHEREAS Canada has a strong coastal protection plan in place, but it is essential to continue to improve and expand it;

WHEREAS it is vital for economic development and environmental responsibility to go hand in hand;

WHEREAS in 2015, there were about 197, 513 departures and arrivals of vessels at West Coast ports with tankers accounting for only 1,487 of them, or 0.75 percent;

WHEREAS one of B.C.’s original five conditions for supporting the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion was a world-class marine spill prevention, preparedness, response and recovery system for B.C.’s coastline and oceans, to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of pipelines and shipments;

WHEREAS the federal government has committed to invest $1.5 billion over five years in coastal protections; and

WHEREAS to maximize the value of Canadian resources, market access is paramount.

Resolution Background: 

Alberta municipalities strongly support the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. Furthermore, they have passed resolutions supporting greater market access for Canadian resources. This year, AUMA sent a letter, with signatures from 167 Alberta mayors, to the Premier of Alberta and the Prime Minister of Canada, calling on both orders of government to work together to build the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. AUMA has reached out to our sister organization, UBCM, expressing our support for Trans Mountain, and seeking common ground on expanding access for Canadian resources.

Alberta municipalities understand that protection of our west coast waterways is vital for all Canadians, and there are many B.C. municipalities that have a direct interest in preserving and safeguarding B.C. coastal communities and waterways from harm caused by oil spills.

Canada has a strong record on coastline protection. Canada has the longest coastline in the world at over 243,000 kilometers. Canada has experienced few major oil spills in its entire history. The infrequency of events is a testament to the amount of work already done by the Canadian government to prevent and protect our coastal waters. However, Canada must be ready. Even one incident could be costly not just in terms of clean up but long-term environmental damage. Continuous expansion and improvement of our west coast marine oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response system is critical. Canadians need to know as a country that we have a world-class coastal protection system in place, while finding solutions to expand our market access.

Government Response: 

AUMA received a brief response from the Prime Minister’s office indicating the letter has been shared with the Minister of Transportation.

AUMA Notes: 

AUMA sent a letter to the Prime Minister and the Premiers of Alberta and British Columbia. AUMA’s objective was to show support to our sister organization the Union of BC Municipalities on an issue important to their members. AUMA has sought to improve relations and the lines of communication on this and other important files.

AUMA Comments: 
Accepts government response