LETTER: A catastrophic ocean spill is 'highly unlikely'

Dear editor:

In John Sbragia’s letter (Marine Environment Must Be Safeguarded, Jan. 30 Mailbox), he states: “…when an ocean spill eventually occurs…” (italics mine).

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How does Mr. Sbragia know that an ocean spill will eventually occur? Can he foretell the future? Is he planning to sabotage a tanker carrying oil to make his prediction come true?

There have been tankers plying these waters for at least seventy years since the pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby has been operational, and there has not been a significant tanker spill yet in waters off the B.C. coast, even considering for most of those years the safeguards we have today have not been in place. These safeguards include double hull tankers, increased tugboat escorts, GPS, and much better radar.

To be factual, Mr. Sbragia should have written “if” or “in the highly unlikely event” instead of “when.” Suggesting the certainty of an ocean spill from a tanker is nothing more than fear mongering, a staple in the anti-pipeline rhetoric.

Being that a catastrophic spill is highly unlikely, the risk is worth the reward of increased prosperity for all Canadians and the comfort that the use of fossil fuels give us all, including the fuel that runs the ferry that Mr. Sbragia must take to travel to and from his home on Bowen Island, which many take for granted.

Jonathan Lazar
City of North Vancouver

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