LETTERS: On oil tankers, fuel barges and cruise ships

Readers from Bella Bella to Victoria respond to Tom Fletcher's column on reaction to the sinking of a tugboat on B.C.'s Central Coast

A crude oil tanker leaves Westridge Terminal in Burnaby through Second Narrows

Re: Petroleum panic a barge too far (B.C. Views, Oct. 19).

I read Tom Fletcher’s articles regularly and agree with most of his positions, but I have one pet peeve regarding the unrealistic opposition to the completion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

It is true that the tanker traffic out of Vancouver harbour would increase but I believe that there has not been one accident all the years that tankers have been leaving this terminal for the high seas.

My problem is that hundreds of cruise ships leave Vancouver harbour every year and have many many thousands of litres of bunker “C” fuel in their holds, but everyone seems to think this is perfectly okay and does not pose a problem.

I assume that the cruise ships are all double-hulled, as are of course all the tankers that would carry crude oil from the terminal to the ocean. If they are not all doubled-hulled, this would present an even greater danger to the environment than the crude oil tankers that are all double-hulled and very carefully escorted out of Vancouver harbour by tugs.

E.G. Compton, P. Eng, Courtenay

•••

Tom Fletcher, as a Caucasian, cisgender, male, settler Canadian, you need to check your privilege.

At most your family has been in what is now called B.C. for less than 200 years. In those 200 years your people have successfully collapsed almost every fish stock on this coast and clear-cut old growth forests to the brink of annihilation. For at least 13,500 years Indigenous people sustainably managed the natural resources of this coast.

How would we survive without fuel you ask? The same we have for thousands of years by using traditional ecological knowledge, community, and human power. How would your people survive without fuel? They wouldn’t. You have lost all connection to the land and sea. Your culture knows nothing but greed.

Ayla Brown, Bella Bella

•••

Tom Fletcher’s column was bang on.

I laughed when he described the Great Bear Rainforest as a “faux aboriginal” name from U.S. protesters. Thought I was the only one who knew that. I must admit it has made them a lot of money.

The comments about fuel to the coastal villages are accurate. I saw it firsthand when I worked on the coastal tankers back in the 1970s.

Keep up the good work.

Capt. Ian Lightman, Victoria

•••

Don’t make your assumptions based on your view from the ferry deck, how ridiculous. If you have any integrity come get the story face to face, not through your narrowed view.

Nothing is more offensive then having “strangers” speak of our way of life like you you know what your talking about.

Pamela Wilson, Bella Bella

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