The Trudeau Liberals call Bill C-48 the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act.
But it’s not a tanker ban at all. It’s a product blockade. And most of the blocked products are from Alberta.
“This bill is an attempt to further restrict the oilsands,” says Alberta Sen. Doug Black, who promises a major fight on second reading in the fall.
The Alberta NDP pitched in Wednesday with a written request to object at Senate hearings.
Black says: “Bill C-48 is a direct aim at the oilsands and at Alberta’s ability to refine products and ship them. Right to the heart!”
From the northern tip of Vancouver Island to Alaska, the bill would prohibit loading shipments of everything from diluted bitumen to oil and gas condensates.
You have to wonder why, if Ottawa is so keen on banning tankers, the bill didn’t just block ships from coming to port.
It doesn’t do that. Rather, it bans loading of a long list of common crude and refined products, many of which, like propane, could be shipped to Asia.
In her letter to the Senate, Alberta Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd wrote:
“Alberta continues to have serious concerns with this legislation’s treatment of persistent oils, such as partially upgraded bitumen, and particularly condensates.”
Ottawa has steadily added more products to the ban, citing spill concerns.
The province says this shotgun approach threatens billions in revenue and refining projects.
“Many stakeholders are supportive of shipping these products off B.C’s north coast,” says McCuaig-Boyd.
“It is also worth noting that tankers have been safely moving along Canada’s West Coast since the 1930s.”
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