Oil Tanker Moratorium Act

An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast

This bill was last introduced in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2019.

Sponsor

Marc Garneau  Liberal

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment enacts the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, which prohibits oil tankers that are carrying more than 12 500 metric tons of crude oil or persistent oil as cargo from stopping, or unloading crude oil or persistent oil, at ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s north coast from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the Alaska border. The Act prohibits loading if it would result in the oil tanker carrying more than 12 500 metric tons of those oils as cargo.

The Act also prohibits vessels and persons from transporting crude oil or persistent oil between oil tankers and those ports or marine installations for the purpose of aiding the oil tanker to circumvent the prohibitions on oil tankers.

Finally, the Act establishes an administration and enforcement regime that includes requirements to provide information and to follow directions and that provides for penalties of up to a maximum of five million dollars.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

June 18, 2019 Passed Motion respecting Senate amendments to Bill C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast
June 18, 2019 Passed Motion for closure
May 8, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast
May 1, 2018 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast
May 1, 2018 Failed Bill C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast (report stage amendment)
Oct. 4, 2017 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast
Oct. 4, 2017 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2019 / 6:35 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, while I welcome the opportunity to ask these questions of the minister, it bears repeating that it is quite shameful that the government is imposing yet another closure on very important legislation.

Currently, there is a voluntary moratorium on tanker traffic in the area that would be affected by this bill. Regardless of whether one philosophically agrees with this voluntary moratorium or not, it has been working for over 30 years.

Since Bill C-48 would do nothing to change the current situation in regard to tanker traffic on B.C.'s coast, how is this bill anything more than empty symbolism?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2019 / 6:35 p.m.
See context

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I remind my colleague that even though there has been a voluntary exclusion zone in place since 1985, the Prime Minister made a promise in June of 2015, and again in September of 2015, that we would formalize that moratorium. That is precisely what we are doing. In fact, when it went through the House of Commons, it was supported by a vote of 204 to 85. In other words, all the Liberal Party, the Green Party and the Groupe parlementaire québécois at the time agreed with it except, of course, the Conservatives.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2019 / 6:35 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is a difference between the northern coast of British Columbia and other parts of British Columbia and the east coast, and that is important to remember.

First, on the north coast of British Columbia, there is no developed tanker export or import market, whilst that is not the case in other places. Therefore, jobs would be at stake and there would be economic implications.

Second, this is home to the last major pristine rainforest in Canada and one of the few in the world. We want to ensure we preserve it.

Third, and this is extremely important, the majority of coastal first nations peoples who live there, and have been there for centuries, and who live off fishing and tourism have told us they want the moratorium to be in place.

Finally, there is not the same level of infrastructure in place in that part of Canada as there is in other parts along the coasts.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2019 / 6:35 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Conservative Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the hon. minister that Bill C-48 is opposed by many indigenous groups in British Columbia that want to benefit from the economic activity from oil and gas. Eagle Spirit, Calvin Helin and that project would see huge benefits to local indigenous groups.

What does the minister say to those indigenous groups in B.C. that are going to be left out in the cold as a result of this bill?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2019 / 6:35 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will be the first to admit that there is not unanimity among coastal first nations in that part of British Columbia. However, the majority of coastal first nations support it because they do not want the risk of having their part of the coast destroyed by a major tanker spill.

We saw what happened with the Exxon Valdez, which covered 2,100 kilometres of coast. That was a major oil spill back in the previous century. They do not want to take the risk of seeing that happen.

However, even among those who do not support the moratorium, there is not unanimity. For example, the Lax Kw'alaams hereditary chiefs do not agree with the elected chiefs. I recently read an article that said there was not unanimity within the Nisga'a.

There will always be differences of opinion. It is our responsibility to take the most appropriate response in this case to address very serious concerns from the majority of coastal first nations.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2019 / 6:35 p.m.
See context

Independent

Erin Weir Independent Regina—Lewvan, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government has approved the LNG Canada project, which of course entails a significant number of liquefied natural gas tankers on the north coast of B.C. I appreciate that the government has done its due diligence and put in place safeguards to ensure those LNG tankers can safely navigate the north coast of B.C.

Could the Minister of Transport explain why he does not have confidence that those same safeguards could not be made to enable oil tankers to safely navigate those same coastal waters?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2019 / 6:40 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount, QC

Madam Speaker, that is a valid question. The answer is that the moratorium applies to a specific category of oils known as persistent oils, oils that do not break up or evaporate rapidly, such as bitumen and dilbit, which have the longest-lasting effects.

There is no moratorium on non-persistent oils. That includes LNG, naphtha, gasoline, propane and other materials that are more refined and are allowed on the north coast of British Columbia.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2019 / 6:40 p.m.
See context

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Madam Speaker, when the minister was on this side of the House, he openly criticized these kinds of closure motions and time allocation motions. The Liberals have used these methods countless times now. I wonder what happened to the democratic spirit of my colleague, who used to find these parliamentary tactics shameful.

He just said that dilbit and other types of petroleum products that do not evaporate quickly are dangerous, so why did he approve the Trans Mountain expansion project today, given that it will triple the number of oil tankers on the oceans and in the bay in southern British Columbia?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2019 / 6:40 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to reassure my colleague that my democratic spirit is in very good shape.

This bill was studied in the House of Commons. It passed third reading in May 2018. It lingered for a while in the Senate and has finally come back to the House. The only amendment proposed by the Senate has to do with the review of this bill. I believe it is time to make a decision.

As for the increased tanker traffic on B.C.'s south coast, we are putting very significant measures in place through the oceans protection plan to minimize the chances of a spill.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2019 / 6:40 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Leona Alleslev Conservative Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, ON

Madam Speaker, there are two key elements we need to discuss at this moment. The first is with respect to the closure of this debate. It undermines our democracy on something of this nature of significance.

Over 10% of our GDP comes from the resource industry, of which oil and gas is critical. This debate is on how we get our oil and gas to market. Therefore, I would like to understand how we can justify limiting a debate on such a significant issue.

The second point has to do with the bill itself. We have two standards for either ends of the coasts. We have the most environmentally friendly oil practices in the world, yet the government is allowing all kinds of jurisdictions to send oil that is far less environmentally friendly by tanker to our east coast. However, the Liberals are putting a ban on how our west coast would get our environmentally friendly oil to market.

I want to understand how the Liberals are justifying shutting down the debate on something that has such a significant impact on Canada and why—

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2019 / 6:40 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount, QC

Madam Speaker, as I said at the beginning, this bill went through the House of Commons and received a third reading vote in May, 2018.

Right now we are looking at one amendment that was proposed by the Senate after the bill went through the Senate process. I would be glad to answer a question on that one amendment if my hon. colleague wants to ask me one about that.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2019 / 6:45 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Madam Speaker, this debate is nothing but a blatant attack on Alberta.

My question for the transport minister is this. Transport Canada just commissioned a company to do a report to prove that the risk of oil spills in the Arctic was next to none in order for Canada to continue to oppose the ban on carrying HFO in the Arctic, which has been proposed by the IMO. Why the hypocrisy? Why is Canada paying to prove the risk of oil spills in the Arctic as low enough to oppose the IMO, but is banning tanker traffic off of B.C. and punishing Alberta?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2019 / 6:45 p.m.
See context

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Madam Speaker, I wonder if my hon. colleague could talk about the amendment proposed by the Senate and all the work it did on this important bill. The Minister of Transport has definitely dedicated a great deal of time to this bill, which is important to Canadians.

I would like to give him an opportunity to explain the essence of this bill to the House, particularly the Senate amendment, which the other place is asking us to adopt.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2019 / 6:45 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. We certainly did think and reflect carefully on this bill for quite some time. As members know, when the bill went to the other place, the Conservative-led Senate committee tried to kill this bill. We could talk about that for a very long time.

I would like to thank the independent senators on the Senate committee and all the senators who voted to keep this bill alive, because it was one of our campaign promises in 2015. Some senators came back to us with a very thoughtful amendment in an attempt to seek a compromise. We accept a large part of the amendment, which we will send back to the Senate. We hope it will accept it. The main point is that we agree to the proposal for a parliamentary review of the bill five years after it is adopted.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

June 18th, 2019 / 6:45 p.m.
See context

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Madam Speaker, I support the bill, but I am absolutely boggled by the hypocrisy shown by the Liberals. They say that they are trying to protect the north coast, but the announcement that was made just an hour ago would absolutely destroy the south coast of British Columbia by increasing tanker traffic through the Trans Mountain boondoggle. We basically get a ship a day going through very narrow passages. The likelihood of a spill within a very short period is absolute. That threatens thousands of jobs in the fisheries and in tourism in southern British Columbia.

We have a government that on the one hand is invoking closure, saying it will protect a part of the coast, while actively working to destroy the rest of the coast. It does not even make financial sense. They want to pour in $17 billion of taxpayer money into something that, ultimately, for British Columbia, will mean 60 full-time permanent jobs once the construction phase is finished.

The question is very simple. Why are they destroying the southern coast?