Letter: Trans Mountain oil tankers no reason to set your hair on fire


I tire of people - for example, during the election campaign, NDP candidate Svend Robinson - claiming the (Trans Mountain) tankers are a “huge and unacceptable risk” to B.C. waters. He certainly does not let facts get in the way of his story, and gives zero evidence to back up this claim.

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Well, let’s look at the facts. 

Firstly, in the century-plus of oil tanker operations in B.C. waters - much

or most of it before radar, GPS, double hulls, coastal pilots, escort tugs, and so on - the only spill incident from an oil tanker in B.C. waters was a loading accident with canola oil in Vancouver harbour.

Secondly, there has never been a serious incident with a crude oil tanker in

Canadian waters, other than war-related. There have been tanker fuel oil spills, the two major ones being on the East Coast decades ago.

Thirdly, oil tankers in Canadian waters have been so safe that they ply the

Great Lakes, the source of drinking water for several U.S. states and


This is no guarantee there will never be an incident, but this does to me suggest it is a bit early to set our hair on fire.

John Hunter, North Vancouver

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