Statement by New Democrat Leader John Horgan on National Oceans Protection Plan

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englishbay-668x547VICTORIA— “The National Oceans Protection Plan announced today is a start toward ‘world-leading’ coastal protection and oil spill response, but details are still vague and Premier Christy Clark is too quick to accept the federal plan as enough to meet the concerns of people in B.C., New Democrat leader John Horgan said today.

“Christy Clark has been the premier for five years, but she didn’t start telling Ottawa what B.C. needs to protect our coast until the Nathan E. Stewart incident just last month. The Heiltsuk people showed me and (North Coast MLA) Jennifer Rice the impacts they will be living with for years to come. The federal ministers were in Bella Bella to see the damage, too. But not the B.C. premier.

“Where has Christy Clark been for the past five years? How can anyone believe that Christy Clark will now push hard for ‘world-leading’ capacity up and down our coast? The premier might think everything is fine after today’s announcement, but we’re still a long, long way from the oil spill response capacity people in B.C. demand.

“If Christy Clark had spent the past five years demanding and delivering better protection of our coast we might have been ready to mitigate the damage of the Bella Bella spill more quickly. But we weren’t. The premier’s inaction on coastal protection left us vulnerable, and she’s too quick to accept today’s start on adequate spill response as assurance that it won’t happen again,” Horgan said.