+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 16-16F

Support for Continuation of Crude Oil Tanker Activity Along the Northern Coast of British Columbia

Date:
October 26, 2016
Expiry Date:
November 30, 2019
Active Status:
Active
Sponsors:
Woodlands County
District:
3 - Pembina River
Year:
2016
Convention:
Fall
Category:
Industry and Resource Development
Status:
Intent Not Met
Vote Results:
Carried
Preamble:

WHEREAS should the ban proceed it would prevent Northern Gateway Pipelines and others from being built which would affect the economic prosperity of Western Canada and Canada in general; and

 WHEREAS such a restriction would severely impede Alberta’s ability to diversify markets for our products; and

 WHEREAS such a restriction would also shut in Alberta’s energy resources, causing lost jobs, investment dollars and economic opportunities; and

 WHEREAS the oil & gas industry is vital not only to the economic wellbeing of all Alberta municipalities, regardless of size, but to our provincial economic health;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties advocate to the Government of Canada  expressing support for continued  tanker activity along the northern coast of British Columbia.

Member Background:

Should the ban proceed it would prevent Northern Gateway Pipelines from being built which in turn would cause the loss of the following:

  •  approximately 3000 constructions jobs
  • $1.5 billion spent in Alberta communities during construction
  • 380 long-term operational jobs
  • Impacts to local businesses and lost revenue
  • Lost royalties collected by Government of Alberta
  • Lost business opportunities for Indigenous companies

 The oil & gas industry is vital not only to the economic wellbeing of all Alberta municipalities, regardless of size, but to our provincial economic health as well. This has become increasingly evident in recent months as provincial and federal economies have waivered with the declining price of oil and gas. 

 Such a lack of government support will further hurt the energy industry, costing Albertans jobs, and local business and lost revenue and would also inhibit getting a better price for crude oil.

 

RMA Background:

The AAMDC has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.

Government Response:

No government response received.

Development:

Shortly after the AAMDC’s Fall 2016 Convention, during which this resolution was endorsed, the Government of Canada formally announced that they would introduce legislation to establish a moratorium on tanker traffic along B.C.’s north coast. According to the Government of Canada’s website, “the moratorium will cover the Great Bear Rainforest/Great Bear Sea area: an area from the Alaska/B.C. border down to the point on B.C.’s mainland adjacent to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, and this includes Haida Gwaii. The new legislation will prohibit oil tankers carrying crude oil or persistent oil products as cargo from entering or leaving ports and marine installations in this area.”

Due to the this announcement, the AAMDC elected not to submit formal correspondence to the Government of Canada calling for the continuation of tanker traffic in the area, as the Govenrment of Canada made it clear that the matter was closed and a decision had been reached. Earlier in 2016, the AAMDC provided input to the Government of Canada on this issue by responding to this question that the Government of Canada posed to stakeholders:

What do you believe are the most important issues the Government should address in its plan to formalize a crude oil tanker moratorium?

The AAMDC’s response was as follows:

Placing a moratorium on any transportation mode or route is a drastic decision and should not be made without intensive analysis of local and national implications, projected future transportation needs and opportunities, and potential changes in technology that may render the moratorium unnecessary. Based on the discussion material that Transport Canada has shared with stakeholders, it is difficult to know the extent or level of analysis that has been undertaken to his point.

The AAMDC understands the importance of considering and mitigating local environmental impacts of tanker traffic on BC’s north coast. However, such a significant decision must consider both local issues and upstream/indirect issues that may be caused by a moratorium. While the intent of a moratorium is to protect a relatively localized ecosystem, the potential social and economic impacts may spread much farther. For example, the tanker moratorium effectively eliminates the development of Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline from Bruderheim, Alberta to Kitimat, BC. For rural Alberta, the development of a pipeline to move crude oil from Alberta to a port facility for tanker transport to foreign markets is very important for the long-term sustainability of the oil and gas industry. While the moratorium is not directly related to the sustainability of the industry, it should not be placed into effect without considering the long-term impacts it may have on the industry. The formalization of a moratorium should be accompanied by a commitment from the Government of Canada to approve and facilitate the development of an alternative pipeline corridor from Alberta to a coastal port facility.

This input was provided prior to the submission or endorsement of resolution 16-16F, as the AAMDC Board of Directors identified the potential tanker moratorium and the associated consultations as an emerging issue worthy of AAMDC input.

Due to the moratorium, this resolution is assigned a status of Intent Not Met.

Provincial Ministries:
none
Federal Ministries and Bodies:
Fisheries and Oceans Canada,
Transport Canada
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