An oil tanker anchors in Strait of Juan de Fuca as a man walks to his car along the grounds of Royal Roads University looking towards Esquimalt Lagoon following snowfall in Victoria, B.C., Friday, December 9, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

B.C. chief says one major oil spill could ruin her nation’s economy forever

Chief Marilyn Slett of Heiltsuk Nation near Bella Bella is leading a delegation in Ottawa this week

Leaders from several north-coast B.C. First Nations say if the Senate doesn’t approve a bill barring super-sized oil tankers from the region, their fragile but thriving marine-based economies will die.

The legislation would put into law an existing moratorium on tankers carrying more than 12,500 tonnes of crude oil in the waters between the northern tip of Vancouver Island and the Alaska border.

The legislation passed the House of Commons last spring and is now being debated in the Senate.

Chief Marilyn Slett of the Heiltsuk Nation is leading a delegation of chiefs and elected leaders in Ottawa this week to lobby senators to pass the legislation, which cleared the House of Commons last spring.

READ MORE: First Nation to sue over tug that spilled 110,000 litres of diesel off B.C. coast

The bill is strongly opposed by the Alberta government, which believes it cuts off an entire option for shipping crude oil. Premier Rachel Notley has added it to the list of irritants between her province and the federal government.

Slett says the waters the ban covers are difficult to navigate and a single major spill would be the end of her nation’s livelihood.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

PLACE NAMES: Kootenay, the post offices and ships

A CPR sternwheeler and two navy destroyers took the name Kootenay

West Kootenay octogenarian helping develop low-cost ventilator for COVID-19 patients

Peter Brockley is working with his doctor son, Graham, to develop the unit that could save lives

Kootenay doctor mobilizes engineers in effort to bolster PPE supply

West Kootenay doctor, engineers and volunteers create personal protection equipment with 3D printers

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Most Read