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

Sponsor

Marc Garneau  Liberal

Status

Second reading (Senate), as of Oct. 4, 2018

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-48.

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

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

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 4:35 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, on that note, what would the member say to the Hereditary Chiefs Council, which represents the nine tribes of the Lax Kw'alaams, who on September 20 said that they were not consulted on the oil tanker ban. They said, “As Indigenous peoples, we want to preserve the right to determine the types of activities that take place in our territories and do not accept that the government should tell us how to preserve, protect, and work within our traditional territories.” They said that there was insufficient consultation.

What does the member say to the partners of the Eagle Spirit Energy's project whose pipeline will also now be null and void because of the tanker ban?

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 4:35 p.m.
See context

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, certainly having consultation is critical. Nation-to-nation relationships are critically important to establish and to get right. I think it is up to the federal government to listen, engage, and have a dialogue that results in good decisions. However, it could be said, certainly prior to the current government, that this was not the case. Certainly under the northern gateway pipeline project, that was absolutely not the case.

However it is a good question, and we should, as a government, strive to work towards a full nation-to-nation relationship, so that we get the best decisions for those nations, for Canada, and for Canada's west coast.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 4:35 p.m.
See context

NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to commend the excellent work done by my colleague from Port Moody—Coquitlam on protecting the environment and all aquatic resources on the Pacific coast, including salmon.

This bill is a step forward but we still have some concerns, which my colleague has talked about, including for example the new powers this bill gives to the minister, powers that could undermine the bill's positive aspects. With these new powers, the minister could exempt ships for indeterminate amounts of time or for much longer if it is deemed in the public interest.

Exemptions should be subject to time limits, rather than being left to the minister's discretion.

What powers does my colleague think should be given to the minister, and what should the limits be on those powers? Should the public have any input or control?

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 4:35 p.m.
See context

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I absolutely agree with my hon. colleague from Drummond in pointing out his concern. I share that concern. I mentioned in my speech that while New Democrats agree with the spirit, intent, and direction of this bill, we are still very concerned with ministerial discretion and allowing the minister the latitude to approve such projects. For instance, large megaprojects that would be harmful to the west coast and coastal communities would be a problem.

The minister acknowledged that those powers do exist. I hope he takes that under advisement and that when we get to committee, Liberals will take the NDP's suggestions seriously and implement those changes in the legislation going forward.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 4:40 p.m.
See context

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country B.C.

Liberal

Pam Goldsmith-Jones LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Kanata—Carleton.

It is indeed an honour to be a member of Parliament from British Columbia and to be able to stand in this House in support 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.

Residents and communities on Canada's west coast have been working toward this legislation for years, as reflected in the comments made by my colleague, the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam. It is a key aspect of actions our government is taking to protect British Columbia's Pacific coastline and to advance our transportation 2030 vision to protect Canada's waterways and three ocean coasts.

The Government of Canada recognizes that the health and well-being of our oceans is vital for our communities, our environment, our economy, and the well-being of all Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Canada has the largest coastline in the world, and it is critical that these vast stretches of coastline and marine environment be well protected to ensure that our oceans can continue to support a rich variety of sea life, and our lives too. We are all one.

Our oceans play an important role in Canada's economy, facilitating the movements of goods and people and enabling trade to protect our high standard of living. It was a distinct pleasure for me to attend recently at the expansion of the Port of Prince Rupert, for example, with the Minister of International Trade. The head of the Indiana railway said to me, “There isn't a shipper in Indiana that doesn't know the Port of Prince Rupert.”

That goes to show how integrated Canada's transport system really is.

In full respect for the importance of trade, British Columbians and Canadians are passionate about the importance of marine safety and protecting the marine environment, which is exactly why the creation of a world-leading marine safety system is central to our government's $1.5 billion oceans protection plan. This will ensure that future generations of Canadians will continue to share and benefit from fisheries, tourism, and traditional indigenous and community livelihoods and knowledge, as well as global trade.

To develop this plan, the Government of Canada undertook extensive consultations with Canadians across the country on how best to improve marine safety and formalize an oil tanker moratorium. This included discussions with indigenous peoples, stakeholders from the marine industry, the oil and gas sector, environmental groups, and all levels of government. These perspectives informed the measures of the moratorium outlined in Bill C-48 today.

I am very proud of the work that many in my riding and throughout British Columbia did to get us here today.

The proposed oil tanker moratorium is just one of several crucial and complementary measures this government is taking to protect our coastlines and oceans. The oceans protection plan will build a world-leading marine safety system that increases responsible shipping and protects Canada's waters, and it includes new preventive and response measures.

We are also taking steps to preserve and restore marine ecosystems and habitats by using new tools and research. To support this work, we are building a stronger evidence base, supported by science and local knowledge. We are investing in oil spill cleanup research and methods to ensure that decisions taken in emergencies are based on the best information possible.

We are strengthening partnerships with indigenous and coastal communities to benefit from local knowledge of the region and to build local emergency response capacity.

These efforts and actions are national in scope, but I would like to be permitted to focus on specific measures designed to protect British Columbia's northern coast.

I would like to remind my hon. colleagues that our government has instituted a concentrated campaign to inspect tugs and barges in the province to ensure that tugs and barges, including those working in community and industry re-supply, comply with all safety regulations.

Preventing accidents from occurring in the first place is our primary goal. This is the main idea behind the steps our government is taking to build a strong prevention regime that enhances marine safety.

For example, we will be providing mariners, indigenous groups, and coastal communities in British Columbia with improved marine traffic and navigation information. This includes designing new information-sharing systems and platforms so they have access to real-time information on marine shipping activities in local waters.

We want to provide maritime situational awareness of who is doing what, and where—which is easier said than done—in a user-friendly way to benefit the safety and protection of British Columbia's coastline.

A first-of-its-kind program will fund initiatives to test new ways to bring local marine traffic information to indigenous and local communities from existing open source information from ports, the Canadian Coast Guard, and other government systems. This will not only help to prevent accidents but will also engage indigenous peoples and local communities with a real, important, and vital role in ensuring responsible shipping.

The oceans protection plan is also making investments so that a proactive, timely, and effective response can be mounted when incidents occur. This would mean enhanced search and rescue capabilities in British Columbia, including four new lifeboat stations and improved communication capacity. The Canadian Coast Guard would be increasing its towing capacity by equipping its large vessels with towing kits. It would also lease two large vessels on the B.C. coast capable of towing large commercial ships that are in distress and pose a hazard to navigation and the marine environment. This would improve Canada's ability to effectively respond to incidents, save lives, and protect the environment.

Beyond protecting marine ecosystems, our government is committed to restoring them. We would establish coastal zone plans and identify restoration priorities that would engage indigenous communities as well as local groups. Furthermore, we are working to understand the threat marine transportation poses to marine mammals and we will examine how to diminish these effects—for instance, by understanding how to reduce the threat whales face from noise and potential collisions from commercial traffic along the B.C. coast. The government would also fund research on the impacts of increased shipping on marine ecosystems, which would better position us to protect these mammals.

Strengthening partnerships with indigenous and coastal communities is a key element of the oceans protection plan. With the plan, as well as the oil tanker moratorium, B.C. indigenous communities would know that there is the highest level of protection possible on their coasts and that they will have a real opportunity to be partners in the marine safety regime. This means taking training in search and rescue missions, environmental monitoring, and emergency spill response. It also means that our government would work with indigenous and coastal communities to create regional response plans for the west coast and pursue shared leadership opportunities in other areas. As one example, this might mean creating local traffic management areas to minimize safety risks and environmental impacts.

Ensuring that indigenous groups play a leading role in decision-making processes is also a major goal of the oceans protection plan. We have demonstrated this commitment with the new Pacific region place of refuge contingency plan, which was developed in collaboration with the Council of the Haida Nation and provincial and federal partners.

We believe that we are demonstrating that by working together, we can more effectively manage and protect our marine environment across Canada. By formalizing an oil tanker moratorium on the north coast of British Columbia, the government is delivering on our commitment to develop a world-leading marine safety system, one that will meet or surpass the marine safety practices of other countries. I am confident that by collaborating with the provinces, indigenous groups, environmental NGOs, and other interested stakeholders, we have found an approach that demonstrates that a healthy environment and a strong economy can go hand in hand.

On a more personal note, I would like to say that it is a testament to the people of British Columbia that we are at second reading for an oil tanker moratorium act, and we are very grateful for the leadership of the Minister of Transport, his parliamentary secretary, and his collaborators in cabinet.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 4:45 p.m.
See context

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my hon. colleague's work in the past on some of the values that we share on west coast salmon and the ecosystem, and I appreciated her very specific comments about investing $1.5 billion over 10 years for the oceans protection plan, about $150 million a year. She elaborated on investing in a world-leading safety system and talked about some specific actions, such as tug and barge inspections.

However, my question, which I think she touched on, is about purchasing the two oil-spill response tugs. I am wondering if the member could elaborate on how much those tugs would cost and what it would leave remaining in the $150 million annual budget for oil-spill prevention and other elements she talked about. I would ask her to elaborate on the cost of the tugs and what would be left.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 4:45 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Pam Goldsmith-Jones Liberal West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, the tugs alone are a gigantic step forward for our government, the protection of marine ecosystems, and the livelihoods of indigenous communities on the coast. For far too long, that aspect was neglected. It is important, as a representative of the west coast of Canada, to describe how treacherous the coast is, how isolated communities are, and the challenges we face when we try to blend both a strong defence of the environment and a healthy economy.

Another remarkable aspect of the $1.5-billion oceans protection plan is how well integrated it is. We took a lot of time to ensure that indigenous peoples, fisheries, justice, transport, Treasury Board, the environment, and beyond were all consulted so that we have brought all we can as a government to protect the safety, environment, and health of the people of British Columbia and its ecosystems.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

Whitby Ontario

Liberal

Celina Caesar-Chavannes LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development

Mr. Speaker, as we move forward with the sustainable development goals, we know that goal number 14 is about life under water. I wonder if the member could elaborate on Canada's leadership in this regard in terms of our ocean protection plan and in terms of this piece of legislation. How are we taking leadership, not just within our domestic market but globally?

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Pam Goldsmith-Jones Liberal West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, certainly we take our sustainable development goals obligations very seriously, and this provides an opportunity to demonstrate our integrated public policy approach.

Last week we were debating Bill C-55, which would update the Oceans Act, after 20 years, and would deliver on our government's commitment to marine protected areas. Canada has fallen quite far behind in that regard, but our government is committed to expanding that to include 10% of our coastlines. We are well under way, and that is, of course, well reflected in the fact that we would also bring a ban on oil tankers on British Columbia's northern coast.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, in reading this bill I looked under clause 9, entitled “Designated Persons”. I wonder if the member could provide clarity on what appears to be a bit of ambiguity in subclause 9(1), where it states:

The Minister may designate any person or member of a class of persons for the purposes of the administration and enforcement of this Act.

The bill then goes on to talk about a certificate of designation:

The Minister must provide every designated person with a certificate of their designation.

I wonder if the member could provide us with some clarity in terms of who those designated persons may be.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Pam Goldsmith-Jones Liberal West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, my understanding of that clause is that it truly reflects the fact that if we are to do the best job we can to protect the environment and the safety of people on the coast, we are going to need a team. The minister, in understanding the situation on the coast, has been very hands on and on the ground. We are connecting what have previously been disconnected but natural partners to ensure the safety of British Columbia's coastline.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 4:50 p.m.
See context

Kanata—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to express my support for this worthy legislation, one of many components of our oceans protection plan. Bill C-48, an act to establish an oil tanker moratorium on British Columbia's north coast, the latest in a suite of actions to protect British Columbia's Pacific coastline, would advance our transportation 2030 vision to safeguard Canada's waterways and three ocean coasts.

The Government of Canada recognizes that the health and well-being of our oceans are vital for our communities, our environment, our economy, and the well-being of all Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Canada has the longest coastline in the world, and it is critical that those vast stretches of coastline and marine environments are well protected to ensure that our oceans continue to support a rich variety of sea life. Our oceans also play an important role in Canada's economy, facilitating the movement of goods and people to other destinations and enabling the trade that our high standard of living depends upon.

We fully understand how important it is to improve marine safety and to protect the marine environment while fostering a climate that supports Canadian trade and economic objectives. That is why the creation of a world-leading marine safety system is a central plank in our government's $1.5-billion oceans protection plan. It will help ensure that future generations of Canadians continue to benefit from abundant fisheries, tourism, traditional indigenous and community livelihoods, and global trade.

To develop this plan, the Government of Canada undertook extensive consultations with Canadians all across the country on how to best improve marine safety and formalize an oil tanker moratorium. This included consultations with indigenous groups, stakeholders from the marine industry and the oil and gas sector, environmental groups, and other levels of government. Their perspectives informed the parameters of the moratorium outlined in Bill C-48.

The proposed oil tanker moratorium is just one of several crucial and complementary measures this government is taking to protect our coastlines and our oceans. The oceans protection plan will build a world-leading marine safety system that will increase responsible shipping and protect Canada's waters, including new preventive and response measures.

We are also taking steps to preserve and restore marine ecosystems and habitats using new tools and research. To support this work, we are building a stronger evidence base, supported by science and local knowledge. We are investing in oil spill cleanup research and methods to ensure that decisions taken in emergencies are evidence-based. We are strengthening partnerships with indigenous and coastal communities to benefit from local knowledge of the region and to build local emergency response capacity.

These efforts and actions are national in scope, so let me focus on a few specific measures designed to protect British Columbia's northern coast.

I remind my hon. colleagues that our government has instituted a concentrated campaign to inspect tugs and barges in the province. The aim of the campaign is to ensure that tugs and barges, including those engaged in community and industry re-supply, comply with all safety regulations.

Preventing accidents from occurring in the first place really is our primary goal, and this is the rationale behind the concrete steps being taken by our government to build a strong prevention regime that enhances marine safety. For example, we will be providing mariners, indigenous groups, and coastal communities in British Columbia with improved marine traffic and navigation information. This will include designing new information-sharing systems and platforms so that they have access to real-time information on marine shipping activities in local waters. We want to provide maritime situational awareness—who is doing what and where—in a user-friendly way that meets their needs.

A new program will fund initiatives to test new ways to bring local marine traffic information to indigenous and local communities from existing open-source information from ports, the Canadian Coast Guard, and other government systems. This will not only prevent accidents but also give indigenous groups and local communities a meaningful role in responsible shipping.

The oceans protection plan is also making investments so that a quick and adequate response can be mounted when incidents occur. This will mean enhanced search and rescue capabilities in British Columbia, including four new lifeboat stations, and improved communication capacity.

The Canadian Coast Guard will be increasing its towing capacity by equipping its large vessels with towing kits. It also will lease two large vessels on the B.C. coast capable of towing large commercial ships that are in distress and pose a hazard to navigation and to the marine environment. This will improve Canada's ability to effectively respond to incidents, which will ultimately save lives and protect the environment.

Beyond protecting marine ecosystems, our government is committed to restoring them. We will establish coastal zone plans and identify restoration priorities that will engage indigenous communities as well as local groups and communities.

Furthermore, we are working to understand the threat of marine transportation to marine mammals and will examine how to diminish these effects, such as understanding how to reduce the threat whales face from noise and potential collisions with commercial traffic along the B.C. coast. The government will also fund research on the impact of increased shipping on marine ecosystems, which will better position us to protect these mammals.

Strengthening partnerships with indigenous and coastal communities is a key element of the oceans protection plan. With the plan, as well as the oil tanker moratorium, B.C. indigenous communities will have peace of mind that there is the highest level of protection possible on their coast, and they will have a real opportunity to be partners in the marine safety regime. This means being offered training in search and rescue missions, environmental monitoring, and emergency spill response. It also means that our government will work with indigenous and coastal communities to create regional response plans for the west coast and to pursue shared leadership opportunities in other areas. As one example, this might mean creating local traffic management areas to minimize safety risks and environmental impacts.

Ensuring that indigenous groups play a leading role in decision-making processes is a major goal of the oceans protection plan. We have demonstrated this commitment with the new Pacific region places-of-refuge contingency plan, which was developed in collaboration with the Council of the Haida Nation and other provincial and federal partners. We are proving that working together, we can more effectively manage and protect our marine environment across Canada.

By formalizing an oil tanker moratorium on the north coast of British Columbia, the government would be delivering on the commitment to develop a world-leading marine safety system, one that would meet or surpass the marine safety practices of other nations.

By collaborating with the provinces, indigenous groups, environmental NGOs, and other interested stakeholders, I am confident that we have found an approach that demonstrates that a clean environment and a strong economy can go hand in hand. In the same way, members on this side of the House want to work with all our parliamentary colleagues to enhance marine safety and protect the environment to promote responsible and sustainable economic growth.

I hope I can count on all-party support for Bill C-48, which would help protect the northern British Columbia coastline for the benefit of generations to come.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 5 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the parliamentary secretary could specifically explain what the difference is between a vessel carrying 12,499 metric tonnes of crude oil, which would be allowed under this ban, and a vessel carrying 12,500 metric tonnes of crude oil. Also, how does she reconcile that American and international tankers of the same size that would be excluded under the ban would not be covered? The ban actually would not deal with that issue at all, and they could still travel through the area, despite the voluntary exemption, which she did not address.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 5 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon Liberal Kanata—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, we came up with these numbers through consultation. We wanted the coastal communities to be able to have their industry and grow and flourish. However, we also wanted to put into place controls that would limit their vulnerability. Therefore, when trying to come up with a piece of legislation, it is critical that we consult and end up with an overlapping, complementary system. That is exactly what we have achieved here.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 2nd, 2017 / 5 p.m.
See context

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, in my riding of North Island—Powell River, we experienced a very hard closure of the Comox MCTS. However, a lot of what we heard in the speech was regarding the importance of having a strong coast guard. At this point, we have gone from five communications centres for the Coast Guard down to just two. When the member talks about having a world-leading marine safety strategy, how does closing one of the communications centres, and with it a lack of understanding of our riding and that whole region in terms of what is happening in the waters, help with that?