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

This bill has received Royal Assent and is, or will soon become, 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

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 12:50 p.m.
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NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, first, I must say that I enjoy listening to the hon. member for Beauport—Limoilou speak because he is a good orator who articulates his thoughts very well. It is nice to hear well-thought-out arguments, even though I do not entirely agree with him.

That being said, you raised a number of very important arguments. However, I want to correct you right away when you describe the Liberals as idealists. Clearly, they are nothing more than opportunists. That is all there is to it.

However, I would like your opinion on the fact that Canadian oil has at times been described here as the cleanest in the world. Honestly, can we talk about the serious problem with developing the oil sands or the tar sands? Let us call them oil sands for some positivity.

What do you think of the new technologies that could make this operation acceptable? Transporting oil is on the same level as using it, but oil extraction is unequivocally damaging to the environment.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 12:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian oil is the most highly regulated oil in the world. Our oil is subject to the largest number of regulations regarding the environment, transportation safety, taxation, consumption, royalties, and so forth.

Would the founding nations consider it normal today for hundreds of huge oil tankers to cross the Atlantic ocean and come to this country when scientists are telling us that we have the third largest oil reserve in the world? The carbon capture technology for the oil sands is getting better by the day.

We need to improve our environmental practices, I think that goes without saying. However, once again, how can we justify telling our grandchildren that we do not want to share in the wealth created over the next 40 years by the China's and India's incredible consumption of oil? Those countries are not going to stop purely for environmental reasons. They are going to consume oil. They are in a full-blown industrial revolution and it is their right to do so. We could sell up to $1 trillion in oil to build hospitals and an education system that are efficient.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 12:55 p.m.
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NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is rare to be able to take part in a dialogue such as this. I would like to ask my colleague a question.

One trillion dollars is a lot of money. Do Canada's oil executives want to invest in improving the extraction process? This is what I know about the extraction process. Simply put, natural gas is used to heat water to remove the oil from the sand. This creates a lot of carbon dioxide. That is the biggest problem with production, but there is also the issue of the water contaminated by the different chemicals found in the tailings ponds, prominently displayed in National Geographic, to our disgrace.

Dare we hope that the industry will invest in making the process cleaner?

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 12:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, environmentalists, just like NDP members, all have the same problem. They suffer from amnesia.

Since the 19th century and over the past 40 years, we have seen great environmental achievements, not only in Canada, but also around the world, with issues such as acid rain or the environment in our cities. The air in London in 1845 was worse than it is today in Beijing. Remarkable progress has been made on the environment. What is disappointing about the NDP, the Liberals, and environmentalists is that they never acknowledge progress and the efforts of Canadians.

We are transitioning towards green energy, but we cannot change Canada's entire supply chain in the space of a few years. This is why we are talking about it, because we need to be able to take advantage of our resources in the meantime.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 4th, 2018 / 12:55 p.m.
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Liberal

Filomena Tassi Liberal Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I think that if you seek it, you would find unanimous consent for the following. I move:

That, notwithstanding any standing order or usual practice of the House, the recorded division on third reading of Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act, be further deferred until the expiry of the time provided for oral questions on Tuesday, May 8, 2018.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 1:45 p.m.
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Kanata—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to stand in the House today and speak to Bill C-48. In my opinion, it is a very balanced, comprehensive framework for a responsible and sustainable future. It would protect our precious coastal communities of northern British Columbia while supporting those communities as they enjoy the ability to grow and prosper in that beautiful part of the world.

It really does not matter which ocean one is facing. Whether it be the Atlantic, Pacific, or Arctic oceans, the health and protection of our coasts are critical to our environment, to our economy, and to all Canadians. In today's competitive markets, ensuring that the import and export of products is done in a safe and efficient manner is paramount to the vitality of globalized economies.

In Canada, our domestic shipping industry is the linchpin to our supply chain that allows us to competitively engage in the international marketplace. With a direct contribution of $3 billion annually to Canada's gross domestic product, transporting approximately $200 billion in international goods, the value of a strong domestic shipping industry is unquestionable. The marine industry not only ensures that our goods get to market, but it also provides essential supplies to rural and coastal communities. British Columbia's coastal communities know how important these resupply activities are.

British Columbians will also tell us that what they truly love about living on Canada's Pacific coast is the extraordinary beauty and the breathtaking landscapes, which they rely upon for food, for cultural activities, and for their very livelihoods. The abundance of nature's bounty is a cornerstone of their quality of life.

Obtaining the right balance of safe and efficient marine shipping while protecting our coastal waterways is top of mind for our government. To help preserve and protect our national heritage across all of Canada's coasts, we are investing $1.5 billion over five years in our national oceans protection plan. In parallel, we are also moving forward with Bill C-48, which proposes to formalize an oil tanker moratorium on British Columbia's north coast. This moratorium complements our ambitious oceans protection plan.

The goal of the oceans protection plan, and Canadians' expectation, is that a strong economy and a healthy environment go hand in hand. This is an unwavering commitment. Formalizing an oil tanker moratorium that would ban oil tankers from stopping along British Columbia's environmentally sensitive north coast is an important element of this commitment. While still allowing critical local resupply activities to continue, this moratorium would help protect the north shores of British Columbia and still enable communities to develop economically. This proposed legislation underscores that our government is serious about encouraging long-term economic growth in a way that does not harm our marine or coastal environments.

Given that the volume of goods moved by marine shipping has increased by almost 20% over the past decade, Canada needs to be well prepared for the associated risks of increased trade and marine development. Our goal is first and foremost to prevent incidents from occurring, and in the unfortunate event that they do take place, minimize their impacts on the environment, on local communities, and on the economy.

This proposed legislation builds on a solid foundation. Canada has had a comprehensive, multi-layered marine safety system in place for many years. This is reflected in our safety record. Although accidents have occasionally occurred in Canada, there has not been a major incident in decades.

Complementary to this legislation, the oceans protection plan will make important investments in science to better understand how oil behaves in water and to research more effective technologies for spill cleanup, including through partnerships with external research institutions and academia. In addition, we are significantly increasing our capacity to prevent incidents through investments, such as increased towing capacity for the Canadian Coast Guard. Through these initiatives, we want to build an economy that prioritizes responsible and sustainable growth.

I want to acknowledge that the shipping industry has evolved over the years to enhance its safety record. Design and construction have improved, as have safety and communications equipment. Seafarers are better trained than in the past. Lifeboat design and drills have also improved. All these contribute greatly to marine safety and security. Despite the relatively strong safety record that Canada enjoys, there is room for improvement.

We need to address gaps and continue to build a world-leading system that will keep pace with the growth and developments in the marine transportation industries. Canada needs to position itself for a future characterized by emerging and disruptive technologies, and new approaches. Connectivity and automation will have far-reaching impacts on the transportation sector and the economy as a whole.

Transport Canada is the federal department that oversees a comprehensive legislative and regulatory system that ensures marine transportation remains safe and efficient, and protects our marine environment. Canada has more than 60 marine safety regulations. The key components of this existing safety regime include compulsory pilotage areas in sensitive or busy waterways where marine pilots with local knowledge of the area are required, and marine safety inspectors to ensure that all vessels, including tankers, meet the strict safety requirements in Canadian law.

Building on this record of excellence and marine safety measures already announced under the national oceans protection plan, Bill C-48 would add another layer of protection. It would not only protect one of British Columbia's most sensitive marine environments, but would also complement several other initiatives that promote marine innovation in support of safe and environmentally friendly marine shipping.

In 2016, Transport Canada consulted Canadians on our transportation system. On the subject of the environment and innovation, Canadians told us that pollution should be reduced in all modes of transportation by using options such as alternative fuels and electric power. They also told us that government incentives and regulations can encourage the use of new technologies.

For example, the shore power technology for ports program is part of our effort to limit air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, and to improve air quality in ports near major cities. The program reduces emissions by allowing docked ships to turn off their auxiliary diesel engines and connect to electric power. This is one way Canada is acting on its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17% from 2005 levels, and to do it by 2020. So far, seven ports have received funding under this program, five of which are in British Columbia, totalling $9.5 million for the B.C. ports.

Since January 1, 2015, under the North American emission control area in coastal waters, vessels operating in Canada must use fuel with a maximum sulphur content of .01%, or use technology that results in equivalent sulphur emissions to reduce air pollutants. These regulatory changes enacted by both Canada and the U.S. are expected to reduce sulphur oxides by 96%. This is another important example of how government uses incentives and regulations to enable the marine industry to develop innovative solutions to complex problems and invest in new technologies.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:10 p.m.
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Kanata—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we were talking about the improvements in technology and the changes we see that will actually help to protect our coasts and how much we are actually working to encourage research and to encourage the development of technology partnerships with the marine industry, with academia, with other federal departments and other governments to continue to work with us to develop innovative solutions that enable the official movement of goods and at the same time protect the marine environment. These partnerships are essential to enable us to share the latest innovations in research, knowledge, and intelligence on new technologies and to also encourage skills capacity for an increasingly knowledge-based economy.

Accordingly, the Government of Canada will strengthen the polluter pay principle by strengthening the Canadian ship-source oil pollution fund. We want to ensure adequate industry-funded compensation is available for those affected by oil spills. This includes removing the fund's current limit and providing unlimited compensation to those affected by an oil pollution incident. When compensation is beyond what is currently available, funds will be recovered by a levy on the companies that import and export oil by ship. The changes to the ship-source oil pollution fund will position Canada as a world leader among ship source liability and compensation regimes.

I should point out that Canada has a long-standing tradition of multilateralism related to international shipping. Canada is a founding member of the International Maritime Organization, the UN agency that regulates the world's maritime shipping. Canada also has a proud history of working closely with the International Maritime Organization to advance standards that promote maritime safety and security, protect the environment, and safeguard seafarers.

The Government of Canada will continue to contribute to the comprehensive body of international conventions supported by hundreds of recommendations governing every facet of shipping. In fact, as part of the oceans protection plan, the Government of Canada will strengthen its leadership role internationally. This includes playing an active role in developing international marine safety standards with the International Maritime Organization and other international partners.

As a trading nation, Canada relies on a safe and secure maritime transportation system to support our economic growth. A wide variety of cargo is transported through Canada's marine transportation system, from food and consumer goods to energy resources. Marine transportation is the primary means of transporting Canada's trade with other countries other than the United States. It is critical for economic growth in Canada which has provided us with one of the highest standards of living in the world.

The moratorium will continue to allow critical local resupply activities and still enable communities to develop economically. The moratorium does not apply to lighter oils such as gasoline, propane, or jet fuel that local communities and industries rely upon, nor will it apply to liquefied natural gas. Accordingly, opportunities remain open for the continued shipment of non-persistent oils.

Further, once passed by Parliament, the Governor in Council will have authority under the act to amend through regulation the schedule of persistent oils should future innovations and technological developments in the transportation of these products offer a significantly higher level of protection for our waters.

Amendments to the schedule could be considered following a regulatory review that would assess new scientific evidence about the fate and behaviour of petroleum products when spilled, cleanup technologies, and the state of institutional arrangements to respond to ship-source oil spills.

The schedule could only be revised through the regulatory amendment process. Environmental safety and science would be the primary considerations for any changes to the schedule.

Always keeping an opening for new technology and scientific development is testament to our commitment not only to protecting the environment but also to fostering innovation in the marine industry.

We are committed to demonstrating that a clean environment and a strong economy can go hand in hand, and that is why Bill C-48 is so important to all Canadians. The moratorium is but one of a suite of actions that the government is taking that will strengthen environmental protection, instilling confidence in Canadians that it is possible to have economic growth and to protect the environment, because this is not an either-or proposition.

I have a list of those who have demonstrated and expressed strong support for the passage of Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act. It is quite an exhaustive list: Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Dogwood Initiative, Friends of Wild Salmon Coalition, Haida Gwaii, North West Watch, Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition, SkeenaWild, and Stand.earth, and there are many more.

We remain open to enable future innovation and technological developments in the transportation of oil that offer a significantly higher level of protection for our waters today and for future generations.

I hope I can count on the support of all hon. members to establish in law an oil tanker moratorium on the north coast of British Columbia. Let us work together so we can continue to create a sustainable future for the generations that will follow.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:20 p.m.
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Liberal

Karen McCrimmon Liberal Kanata—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, we really believe that consultation is actually the key to coming up with the best solution. It is about having those conversations. It is about hearing from all sides of the debate. It does not mean we should just restrict ourselves to one or another perspective. It is important that we get all those different perspectives. That will help us come up with the best solutions as we move forward.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:20 p.m.
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NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member's comments on the northern tanker ban.

One of the elements the government has introduced is the oceans protection plan to look at how we protect our coastal communities. We have heard a lot about this so-called oceans protection plan.

One of the concerns is the technology that is supposed to exist to clean up dilbit. We just heard the question about Kinder Morgan and the proposal that would bring that diluted bitumen to the coast. It would bring a sevenfold increase of tanker traffic to the Vancouver port.

I am wondering if the hon. member could tell the House about the technology in the oceans protection plan that exists to clean up and deal with that toxic dilbit.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:20 p.m.
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Liberal

Karen McCrimmon Liberal Kanata—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is an important question.

We believe that the technology will be developed. Earlier in this session, the transportation committee heard from a company that is actually proposing to take bitumen and press it into pucks, then cover them with a polymer coating. That will make it much safer to transport.

There are technological developments, both in spill cleanup and in how we are actually going to move this product. We will be seeing some of those coming onto the market very soon.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:20 p.m.
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Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, my colleague talks about this tanker moratorium off the west coast. Why is there such a difference in opinion from the west coast to the east coast? Let us put this in perspective.

In comparison, almost 4,000 tankers a day come through off the coast of New Brunswick down the St. Lawrence, many of those carrying oil from regions such as Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, which certainly have much worse human rights records and environmental standards. There are no problems with tankers coming down the east coast, but let us go to the west coast, where we have less than 200 tankers a day and less than 2% of the commercial tanker traffic off the west coast carries oil and bitumen.

Why is there such a difference with what we are doing on the east coast but we are more than happy to debilitate energy investment development off the west coast?

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:25 p.m.
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Liberal

Karen McCrimmon Liberal Kanata—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is important to look at the statistics, not just as a grand number, but what percentage of those vessels on the east coast are carrying persistent oils. As I said, this does not preclude transportation of gasoline and jet fuel, but it does provide protections for those more persistent oils.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:25 p.m.
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Whitby Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week when the Minister of Transport was speaking to this piece of legislation, he indicated that one does not need to live on the coast to appreciate how valuable this act would be on the environment, economy, and people in the area of British Columbia. At that time, I mentioned that my daughter is an Earth Rangers ambassador, trying to save the Oregon spotted frog. Many of our children understand that we need to really protect the environment.

I am wondering if my hon. colleague could answer how this particular piece of legislation complements the oceans protection plan, the $1.3 billion we are investing in biodiversity, one of the largest and most significant investments in nature conservation in Canada's history.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:25 p.m.
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Liberal

Karen McCrimmon Liberal Kanata—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is absolutely right. It is not just a one issue deal. It is not just one bill. It is not just a single proposal we are implementing. It is to deal with conservation. It is important. It is to deal with preservation. That is something that had been ignored.

What we want to do is actually prevent accidents from happening. That is why there are investments in the oceans protection plan. That is why there are investments in conservation activities. It is the key to our future, and I believe the young people want us to do this kind of work.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

May 3rd, 2018 / 3:25 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am going to use my time to put a question to the parliamentary secretary, and in the context of that, answer the question from the member for Foothills.

This ban on the north coast of British Columbia against large oil tankers has been in place since 1972. It was only under the previous prime minister, Mr. Harper, that it was removed. It was honoured by every government, including Progressive Conservative governments, from 1972 up to 2012.

I am originally from Cape Breton, and I asked those questions early on, and the reason it is different from the east coast has a lot to do with the intense ocean current action of the Hecate Strait and Dixon Entrance. The ocean current in these areas is far more intense than in any of our coastal areas off Atlantic Canada. As well, geographically, Haida Gwaii, what we used to call the Queen Charlotte Islands, is right up against those channels. It is far too dangerous to have oil tankers on that coast, and the tankers on the B.C. coast are the only ones shipping dilbit. None in Atlantic Canada ship dilbit, which cannot be cleaned up.