The Oil Tanker Moratorium Act prohibits oil tankers that are carrying more than 12,500 metric tonnes 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 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 tonnes of those oils as cargo; 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; and establishes an administration and enforcement regime that includes requirements to provide information and to follow directions, and provides for penalties up to a maximum of five million dollars.
This bill seeks to protect the BC coast that many First Nations call home. The transport of crude oil on this coastline brings with it a number of ecological and financial risks (tourism, fishing, etc.). There has been a voluntary “tanker exclusion zone” in place since 1985.
This bill was very contentious; the Senate vote was 49-46 in favour, and the Senate committee it was referred to recommended that the bill no longer proceed.
The Government of Alberta is planning to challenge the constitutionality of this bill in court.