Spill exposes big promises and no delivery from B.C. Liberals

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April 10, 2015

VANCOUVER – Wednesday’s bunker fuel spill in English Bay exposed the B.C. Liberals’ empty promises and lack of leadership on oil spill cleanup, says New Democrat leader John Horgan.

“There is no world-class spill response in the works, in fact the premier can’t even articulate what that would look like,” said Horgan. “Her environment minister said back in 2013 that they were working on what world-class spill response would include. What we see two years later when a problem occurs is finger-pointing at others.”

“I’m glad that the Premier is disappointed like the rest of us. The difference though is that she’s in a leadership position and people expect her to lead. She promised to get this worked out with the federal government and if anything, things seem to be worse today than when she started,” said Horgan.

Horgan noted that the 2013 closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard station slowed response time and there was a six hour delay in getting containment booms in place around the spill.

“This is the busiest harbour in Canada and the pollution response vessel that used to be stationed right in the harbour is now sitting on a dock in Richmond. Christy Clark’s pledge to fight for the station led to nothing more than a letter and a 90 second YouTube video.”

Horgan said as Premier he would have handled things differently. “I would have shown up to tell people what was going on, and I would have been on the phone to Stephen Harper immediately to demand better.”