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City council takes on rising oil traffic in Vancouver's port

Vancouver city council will hold a special council meeting next week to address the big jump in oil traffic in the city's port.

"We’ve seen a steady increase in crude shipments through Burrard Inlet over the past decade," said Mayor Robertson, in a statement released yesterday. "This has happened largely away from the public eye, and given the horrific scene we have witnessed in the Gulf of Mexico, more and more questions are being raised about the current situation in Vancouver, the safety standards in place, and the long-term plans for Burrard Inlet."

Recent reporting by The Tyee's Mitchell Anderson follows the development of the Burrard Inlet as a major outflow of Albertan crude oil.

"Every few days, tankers freshly laden with crude from Alberta's oil sands squeeze through the shallow Second Narrows channel in Burrard Inlet, make their way through swift currents in the southern Gulf Islands and on towards offshore markets," he reports.

Last week, federal Liberal party leader Michael Ignatieff announced plans to formalize a moratorium on oil tanker traffic in B.C.'s northern waters.

Council will hear from several speakers at the meeting on July 5, including:

  • BC Chamber of Shipping
  • BC Ministry of Environment
  • Burrard Clean Operations
  • Georgia Strait Alliance 
  • Pacific Pilotage Authority
  • Peter Baker, Oceanographer
  • Robyn Smith is completing a practicum at The Tyee.

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