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

In committee (House), as of Oct. 4, 2017

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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

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

Bill C-48--Time Allocation MotionOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 4:10 p.m.
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Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am interested in that comment about regional discrimination. If we are talking about discrimination between adjacent provinces, our record shows very clearly that unlike the previous government, which was in power for 10 years, we have done a great deal to promote and to allow the possibility of pipelines and the industry in Alberta, something that the previous government was clearly unable to do. I would not call that discrimination, but it certainly was a failure on the part of that government.

Bill C-48--Time Allocation MotionOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 4:10 p.m.
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NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am seriously troubled. I feel very privileged to be in a caucus with fellow members who represent ridings bordering on the very ocean that we are talking about. Every one of them is sincere in standing up and sharing the views of their constituents. I stood aside as the environment critic in order to give them an opportunity to voice those views.

The hon. minister says there will be lots more opportunity, and this deeply troubles me. Let us look at the reality. The bill would be referred to a committee on which we have one representative, and that one representative may be able to ask a few questions of witnesses and may have the opportunity to propose a few amendments.

I am deeply troubled by the Liberals' track record. They have rejected every amendment that has been put forward in this place. They are sometimes open to amendments by their fellow members in the Senate, but they never accept amendments from here.

Would the minister undertake to not invoke closure on the next reading of this legislation in this place?

Bill C-48--Time Allocation MotionOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 4:10 p.m.
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Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to my colleague. I remember being the single Liberal member on a number of committees for four years during the previous government, so I understand what she is talking about. I nevertheless had the opportunity to voice my concerns, as will others as the bill goes through the House of Commons.

This is a multi-stage process of debate. The debate will continue in committee and it will continue at third reading stage and it will then go on to the Senate, so there will be ample opportunity for this bill to be aired.

As for consultation, we did a huge amount of consultation during the year and a half before we put the bill together, so I am confident that we represent the vast majority of Canadians in support of this moratorium.

Bill C-48--Time Allocation MotionOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 4:10 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to hear the minister say on the one hand that it is a platform commitment so we barely need any debate, when on the other hand, most of the time he says it is a platform commitment so we are not going to do it.

Not only is this an assault on democracy but it is also an assault on economic development. It is clear that the government prefers foreign oil to Canadian oil in every case. Tankers bringing foreign oil from one place to another will be travelling up and down the B.C. coast, yet we will not have the opportunity to export Canadian oil and get it to markets. It is the same principle whereby the government is imposing all sorts of restrictions that limit energy infrastructure from going east while it continues not to apply those restrictions to the export of foreign oil.

Why are we seeing this assault on democracy and economic development at the same time? I would particularly like to know from the transport minister why there is a preference in every case for foreign oil over Canadian oil.

Bill C-48--Time Allocation MotionOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 4:10 p.m.
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Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure I understand the question, because our government approved three pipelines, with conditions. We want to see Canadian oil going to foreign markets and we are definitely doing everything we can to make that happen, so I am not sure what point the hon. member is trying to make.

As our Prime Minister has said and as all of us in the Liberal Party have said many times, we are achieving the proper balance between economic development and the environment. We are making a strong statement here, as part of the greater oceans protection plan, that we want to ensure that the coastal area, those 400 kilometres north of Vancouver Island, will remain pristine. This is an area where for millennia coastal nations have lived and worked and brought up their families. We have made a solemn commitment to do this and we are going to do it.

To say that we are not in favour of economic development is to not understand the Liberal government.

Bill C-48--Time Allocation MotionOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 4:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Alex Nuttall Conservative Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we are speaking about time allocation on the bill. I find it interesting when I see time allocation, especially when there are only two speakers and it is brought forward under circumstances that one would question, because the throne speech that the government brought forward when it was elected says the following:

Welcome also to the 197 members who are newly elected. Your enthusiasm and fresh ideas will serve your country well.

I call on all parliamentarians to work together, with a renewed spirit of innovation, openness and collaboration. ...

How?

By being smart, and caring—on a scale as never before.

The times we live in demand nothing less.

Canada succeeds in large part because here, diverse perspectives and different opinions are celebrated, not silenced.

Parliament shall be no exception.

In this Parliament, all members will be honoured, respected and heard, wherever they sit. For here, in these chambers, the voices of all Canadians matter.

When I look at what is happening here today, I am trying to rationalize what was said in the throne speech versus the actions that we see by the government day after day, and I cannot rationalize it. I would like the Minister of Transport to stand in the House of Commons today and tell the Canadian people why he has turned his back not only on them but on his own government's throne speech.

Bill C-48--Time Allocation MotionOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 4:15 p.m.
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Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, over the course of the past two years, we have allowed ample amounts of time for debate. As we know, we are going through Bill C-48, which is on the moratorium. It will go to committee. When it goes to committee, there will be opportunity to debate it. Witnesses will be heard on both sides, I am sure. After that, it will go to third reading and to report stage. After that it will go to the Senate.

We are following the proper process to turn this bill into law and we feel that an adequate amount of time has been allocated for Bill C-48.

Bill C-48--Time Allocation MotionOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 4:15 p.m.
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Liberal

Rémi Massé Liberal Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to recognize the Minister of Transport, his team, and all of the public servants who worked on this bill.

Earlier, the minister said that he had consulted many people in recent weeks and months. Could he share the outcome of these consultations with the House, and tell us how the consultations were factored into this bill?

What aspects of the consultations were retained and considered in this bill?

Bill C-48--Time Allocation MotionOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 4:15 p.m.
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Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

We knew that we had to set the terms and conditions of this bill. When we were talking about an oil tanker moratorium, we had to decide, for example, which products would be allowed to be transported in these oil tankers, taking the science and importance of the environment into consideration. We also held extensive consultations concerning the remote communities in northern British Columbia that rely on these tankers to supply their oil. We were forced to limit how much oil these tankers could transport, in order to be able to supply these communities.

Furthermore, we extensively consulted first nations, including the Nisga'a, Lax Kw'alaams, Metlakatla, Haisla, Heiltsuk, and Haida bands. We spoke to a number of first nations living in that part of the country, and they all had things to say. We consulted many people before we finalized this bill. I hope that it will be passed as drafted. We will see as this bill moves forward.

Bill C-48--Time Allocation MotionOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 4:20 p.m.
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NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, five minutes was about the length of the last response from the government side.

We on the west coast know how important the coastal waters are to our province. It is an important resource. It is a basis for our fishery, forestry, and eco-tourism. It is of enormous impact to species all along the coast, and the consequences of an oil spill on the west coast could be disastrous. We know the Exxon Valdez cost billions of dollars that the company still never really paid the full amount for, which is still affecting fish stocks today.

I support the banning of supertankers in certain areas of British Columbia, but this bill gives the minister the power to exempt ships for indeterminate amounts of time if deemed in the public interest. The New Democrats believe that this exemption is irresponsible and unnecessary. The current government deemed it in the public interest to allow supertankers to go into the Burrard Inlet through the Kinder Morgan pipeline to have seven times the current supertankers going through the Burrard Inlet now, risking an oil spill in Vancouver, which in the eyes of the Liberals was in the public interest.

How can Canadians trust that the minister will demonstrate proper judgment in the exercise of the public interest, when the Liberals have already so badly mismanaged that in determining it is in the public interest to allow oil tankers in the Burrard Inlet, contrary to the interests of the people of British Columbia?

Bill C-48--Time Allocation MotionOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 4:20 p.m.
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Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am glad my colleague supports this bill, but it is the third time I am answering the NDP question about ministerial powers. The ministerial powers are for extreme emergency situations. The only example that at the moment exists is if there was an emergency in a community along the coast in a remote area that suddenly, for reasons we do not anticipate, needed a vast quantity of a certain kind of fuel. That might be one exception. However, we do not anticipate using that ministerial power.

Bill C-48--Time Allocation MotionOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 4:20 p.m.
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Conservative

Ben Lobb Conservative Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, I sit on the transport committee, and we put through Bill C-49 last night. It was a little unusual that on Monday we were notified the committee would sit from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Be that as it may, the member from Saskatoon and the member for Wellington—Halton Hills stayed, and it was very collegial. In my nine years, I do not recall any bill getting passed in one day through a committee. The members made their points and were very collegial.

However, we see this take place today. If people wonder at home why politics are sometimes toxic, this is a great example. Here is an opportunity for members of Parliament to debate the issue, to let it go to committee, and probably have an opportunity to be collegial with the amendments in clause-by-clause. He has now forced the committee to examine every amendment, and every clause to the very finite end.

Therefore, between the minister and the House leader, could they explain why they would want to sour the positive relationship on the transport committee? For good measure, he should apologize to the chair, because she has done a great job, and now he is putting her in a heck of a situation.

Bill C-48--Time Allocation MotionOil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 4:20 p.m.
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Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am glad that my colleague brought up the fact, as I did beforehand, that Bill C-49 passed yesterday through clause-by-clause. It is certainly my hope that Bill C-48 will go through a similar collegial process. There will be that opportunity.

I totally respect the independence of the committee as our government has done from the very beginning, unlike the previous government. I am sure when it does arrive at committee, there will be a similar opportunity to hear witnesses to argue for and against, and eventually go to clause-by-clause. I hope to do all this in a collegial manner.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 5:05 p.m.
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Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Joyce Murray LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Davenport.

I am pleased and proud to be part of today's debate on Bill C-48, and to discuss implementing an oil tanker moratorium on British Columbia's northern coast.

It is important to remember that with the bill, the Government of Canada is honouring its promise to Canadians. By formalizing this moratorium and including marine safety, the government is delivering on its promise, as set out in the mandate letter from the Prime Minister to the Minister of Transport.

I want to thank our Prime Minister for his commitment to the oil tanker moratorium on the Pacific north coast. I also want to thank the Minister of Transport for taking his thoughtful approach in consulting widely on the bill and delivering on this commitment.

This is one of those times when it is very satisfying to be a member of Parliament.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

October 4th, 2017 / 5:05 p.m.
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Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, I worked on this issue as a core project in Vancouver Quadra from early 2009. Therefore, I want to also acknowledge all the constituents of Vancouver Quadra, the environmental groups, the communities, and the indigenous communities on British Columbia's coast that paid attention to the potential risks to our coast and supported the idea of banning crude oil tanker traffic, consistent with a policy moratorium that had been put in place in 1972 by a previous Prime Minister Trudeau.

Therefore, I would like to share with the members a press release I wrote in February 2011, after two years of work on this. It said:

Yesterday, Vancouver Quadra Liberal MP... announced that C-606, her private Members’ bill to ban oil tanker traffic off B.C.’s north coast, has been officially submitted to proceed to debate next month. “We are now one step closer to a legislated oil tanker ban on B.C.’s north coast--the only way to protect our oceans and communities from a catastrophic oil spill... If disaster were to strike in our northern coastal waters, B.C.--and Canada as a whole – would never be the same.

Bill C-606 legislates a crude oil tanker ban in the dangerous inland waters around Haida Gwaii known as Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. The bill would not affect current deliveries of diesel and other oil products to local communities

The work to protect that area of the coast has been going on for a long time. The press release continued:

We’ve witnessed the Gulf of Mexico and Exxon-Valdez oil spills. It’s just not worth the risk...In perfect conditions, industry considers 15 percent recovery of oil a success, but a recent report by Canada’s Environment and Sustainable Development Commissioner raised serious doubts about the Conservative government’s ability to even respond to a spill.

This initiative is widely supported by British Columbians in all parts of the province. In fact, a press release I issued in March 2011 talks about a two-day campaign being kicked off to meet with Vancouver Island residents and stakeholders about Bill C-606, the bill to legislate a ban on crude oil tankers in B.C.'s dangerous northern waterways. It says that I would also be consulting with the northern communities, the community of Kitimat, where a terminal for an oil pipeline that would be transported through those waters for which it was planned, and that I would visit first nations, community organizations, local businesses, unions, and municipalities to reach out to those communities. Those early consultations made it very clear that “An oil spill would hurt our communities, our environment, our businesses, and our way of life. This is not a risk British Columbians can afford to take”, quoting from that press release.

I am talking about this because I want to acknowledge and thank some of the key environmental organizations that brought this issue forward to the Liberal caucus of the day. The four environmental organizations that were critical to this work, doing the research and encouraging us to move forward on this issue, were Dogwood Initiative, Living Oceans Society, Stand.earth, and West Coast Environmental Law.

This was a real priority. Why was it so important and why is it so important for a government that is committed to protecting the environment, a particularly sensitive environment in this case, while also protecting and developing a strong economy? It is because B.C.'s coastal economy in 2010 was estimated to have 56,000 jobs tied to clean coastal environments, jobs in fisheries, tourism, ecotourism, and recreation, film and television among them. It also was about a way of life for our coastal communities.

Imagine being in Hartley Bay, a remote coastal community, as I had the privilege to be, knowing that community's supermarket really is its freezers. The fishermen go and harvest the shellfish, the abalone, the mussels and clams, the salmon, and the halibut, and the residents eat that seafood throughout the year, as they have for a millennia. It is about a way of life, as well as an economy and an environment.

I came naturally to thinking about how we could protect our coastal environment from a devastating oil spill. I was a tree planter and reforestation contractor working on the north coast in my late teens and early 20s, and I came to know it well.

I also had the chance to travel up and down the coast as a minister of environment. Imagine being at the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, this amazing and rich estuary, watching the grizzly bears feed with their families, as I had a chance to do. Imagine that being fouled with a crude oil spill, as happened in Alaska's estuaries with the Exxon Valdez oil spill? We could never go back.

Therefore, I and so many British Columbians were committed to ensuring that these dangerous waters would not be the location of a devastating oil spill. We are reminded by the Deepwater Horizon, the Exxon Valdez, and some of the other spills off our coast that human error and equipment failure are something one can never guarantee will not happen.

B.C.'s north coast is home to the Great Bear Rainforest and some of the world's most diverse ecosystems, including 27 species of marine mammals, 120 species of marine birds, and 2,500 individual salmon runs.

One of the big concerns after the Exxon Valdez example was the jobs that would be lost as well as the impact on the environment. I met with a woman who came to one of my meetings wearing the gumboots she wore when she went to clean up the Exxon Valdez spill up in Alaska.

I am so proud of our government and our minister for having done significant consultations throughout the province and for having discussed this with groups from the coast right through the interior.

I want to again thank my constituents for supporting me on this. I would like to thank our minister and our Prime Minister for delivering on this promise to British Columbia and to Canada to protect this very special part of our country.