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April 26, 2006
Oil and Water Don't Mix - the Toxic Effects of Oil - Seventeen years after the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska, we are still struggling to come to terms with its toxic legacy. more »

March 1, 2005
Western Canada Wilderness Committee tells industry conference "no seismic testing in coastal waters." more »

July 2004
Greenpeace ship sends important message to Oil Industry – Keep away from B.C.’s coast. more »

April 1, 2004
Oil Free Coast Members Deliver Clear Message to Prime Minister. more »

January 12, 2002
Western Canada Wilderness Committee organizes a rally where hundreds of people gather in support of moratorium on offshore oil and gas. more »

October 2, 2001
On October 2nd 2001 the Oil Free Coast Campaign was launched more »

April 26, 2006
Oil and Water Don't Mix - the Toxic Effects of Oil

Seventeen years after the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska, we are still struggling to come to terms with its toxic legacy. Activist and marine toxicologist Riki Ott, PhD will address the long-term effects of the spill and global ramifications for public helath and the environment. At the Vancouver Public Library 7:30 - 9 pm April 26 2006. Click here to download poster and full details

 

 

 

 

 

March 1, 2005
Western Canada Wilderness Committee tells industry conference “no seismic testing in coastal waters”

Media Release: Oil Summit Picketed

For Immediate Release
March 1, 2005
Date: Today, Tuesday, March 1, 2005
Time: 10:30 - 11:00 am
Place: Delta Ocean Point Resort, 45 Songhees Rd., Esquimalt

Today, a small group of picketers will unfurl 2 large banners ("Ban Oil Drilling and Seismic Testing Off BC's Wild Coast" and "Keep our Coast Oil Free") and hand out leaflets outside the BC Oil and Gas Opportunities Summit in Victoria, sponsored by the BC Chamber of Commerce.

The keynote speaker at the conference will be Richard Neufeld, BC's Minister of Energy and Mines, who will be promoting coastal oil development and seismic testing (oil exploration) off BC's coast under the guise of "filling in science gaps." The BC government in their recent Throne Speech proclaimed that they will spend $5.75 million of BC taxpayers' money by 2008, on top of this years projected $5.8 million, for a total of $11.55 million over 4 years, to fund their Offshore Oil and Gas Team. The team is a taxpayer-funded PR/lobby group working to push the federal government to lift the moratorium.

"The BC Liberals are slick - like oil on water. They're promoting seismic testing under the guise of 'doing science', when it's simply a sneaky, foot-in-the-door strategy to eventually get the moratorium lifted," states Ken Wu, WCWC's Campaign Director in Victoria. "Once companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars to undertake oil exploration - seriously harming fish, whales, and crabs with sonic shock waves through the ocean - and if major deposits are found, then it'll be extremely difficult to keep the moratorium in place by that point."

The Wilderness Committee is also criticizing the federal Paul Martin government for signing an agreement last week with the BC government to establish proposed regulations for seismic testing off BC's coast - even though the federal government hasn't even made a decision yet on whether or not to lift the moratorium. The agreement is called the "Statement of Canadian Practice on Marine Seismic Activities" and is now open for a 60 day public commentary period.

"Why is the federal Liberal government signing deals with the BC government to make regulations for seismic testing and oil exploration off BC's coast, if they haven't even decided yet if they're going to lift the federal moratorium? It's an ominous sign that the federal government may already be buckling to the BC Liberal's anti-environmental pressure to eventually lift the moratorium after the provincial election," states Wu.

Studies show that seismic testing kills marine larvae and fish, damages the reproductive organs of crabs, deafens whales, and drives marine mammals and fish long distances away from their feeding areas and migration routes. Coastal oil development would result in chronic daily pollution (drilling fluid discharges, oil leakages), major greenhouse gas emissions (contravening our Kyoto commitment), and large and small oil spills in Canada's most earthquake prone region. 75% of British Columbians during last spring's public input process wanted to maintain the moratorium on coastal oil and gas development in BC.

Contact: Ken Wu, Campaign Director, WCWC
Victoria (250) 388-9292

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July 2004
Greenpeace ship sends important message to Oil Industry – Keep away from B.C.’s coast.

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April 1, 2004
Oil Free Coast Members Deliver Clear Message to Prime Minister

Dave Fields speaks to Prime Minister Paul Martin about the importance of the moratorium on offshore oil and gas.

 

Greenpeace and Living Oceans to Paul Martin - You Can't Have It Both Ways Canadians will have a great view of oil rigs and tankers from the Hydrogen Highway"

VANCOUVER, April 1 /CNW/ - Greenpeace Canada and Living Oceans Society today called on Prime Minister Paul Martin to give a definitive thumbs down on offshore oil and gas development off the coast of British Columbia.

"A token nod to the hydrogen economy in no way offsets the harm that would be caused by offshore oil and gas development in British Columbia," said Greenpeace Canada Energy Campaigner David Fields. "Paul Martin can't have it both ways. With his plan, Canadians will have a great view of oil rigs and tankers from the Hydrogen Highway."

As part of the expansion of the Sea to Sky Highway for the 2010 Olympics, the highway will have a hydrogen refueling station to accommodate connector buses to Whistler. However, the federal government has also expressed interest in lifting the offshore oil and gas moratorium.

For over 30 years the moratorium has protected Canada's west coast from oil and gas exploration and development. The federal government imposed its moratorium in 1971, several years before the province followed suit. Ottawa put the moratorium in place because scientific evidence showed drilling was environmentally unsound. One of the major dangers in the early stages of development is seismic testing, which is particularly harmful to whales.

"Research shows seismic testing leads to whale beachings, harms fish larvae, damages the hearing of marine mammals and caused the swim bladders of fish to explode in response to the powerful explosive shock waves, "said Oonagh O'Connor, researcher at Living Oceans Society. "Paul Martin has inherited an inadequate offshore oil review process and its time he shut it down and maintain the moratorium."

Offshore development can cause oil spills and blowouts, which pose a tremendous threat to the local ecology and economy. Fossil fuel combustion also leads to climate change that impacts food supply, fresh water and warmer temperatures.

For further information: David Fields, Greenpeace Canada Energy
Campaigner, Cell. (604) 722-4775; Jo Dufay, Greenpeace Canada Campaigns
Director, cell (416) 451-9354; Oonagh O'Connor, researcher at Living Oceans
Society, cell (604) 722-4775

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January 12, 2002
Western Canada Wilderness Committee organizes a rally where hundreds of people gather in support of moratorium on offshore oil and gas.

Over 500 people gathered at the Legislature to voice their support for the moratorium on offshore oil and gas. People came from Haida Gwaii, Sointula, Tofino, Quadra Island and Vancouver to show their support.

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October 2, 2001
On October 2nd 2001 the Oil Free Coast Campaign was launched

Conservationists, Fishermen, and First Nations Launch Campaign to Keep BC Coast Oil Free.

Vancouver - Conservationists, fishermen, and First Nations gathered in front of the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Vancouver, where an offshore oil and gas conference was being held, to call on the federal and provincial governments to maintain the offshore oil and gas moratorium. The Oil Free Coast Alliance, made up of 70 conservation, labour, and First Nations groups, is worried that opening this coast to oil and gas development will hurt the coastal environment and economy.

"Research shows that this industry will harm our fish stocks, whales, and sea birds through seismic testing, oil spills and global warming." Says Jennifer Lash, Executive Director of the Sointula based Living Oceans Society "Today we are asking the people of BC to join with the 70 member groups of the Oil Free Coast Alliance to let the federal and provincial governments know that we want to protect our coast from the threats of this industry."

First Nations from across BC believe that this industry is a threat to the ecosystem that sustains their communities. "There are no benefits from this industry for us" say Arnie Narcisse, President of the BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission. "We depend on a healthy ocean and there is nothing, in terms of science or otherwise, that will provide any comfort to us that this industry is safe."

The Oil Free Coast Alliance maintains that this is an issue for all the people of BC, not just those in the north coast. " It was the signatures of over 80,000 people from all over BC that requested this moratorium be put in place," says David Cadman, President the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC). " It is up to the people from all over BC and the rest of Canada to keep it in place."

Many fishermen believe that this is not the solution to high unemployment in the fishing industry because it does not produce jobs for the people who need them. "Most jobs will be filled by outsiders, not the unemployed fishermen that live on our coast," says John Radosevic of the United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union - CAW (UFAWU). "If we want to create jobs for fishermen, we must invest in sustainable fisheries, not threaten existing fisheries with offshore oil and gas."

Despite claims that Hibernia has revived the impoverished communities of the east coast, the Canadian Center for Policy Alternative (CCPA) has numbers that prove otherwise. "The federal and Newfoundland governments poured billions into the Hibernia project, but the benefits to Newfoundland will be minimal," says Dale Marshall, resource policy analyst for the CCPA. "They only created 5 jobs per million dollars invested."

The Oil Free Coast Alliance wants to send a clear message to the oil industry and to the federal and provincial governments, whose representatives are attending today's conference, that the coast of BC is not open to big business. "The provincial government's commitment to open this province to big business is going to be another nail in the coffin of our ocean and our coastal communities." Says Cass Elliott, of the Environmental Youth Alliance "We cannot allow backroom deals and broken promises to affect our lives. We must keep our coast oil free."

The Oil free Coast Alliance has requested that the provincial and federal governments reconfirm the offshore oil and gas moratorium, demonstrating their commitment to a viable and prosperous coastal economy and a healthy ocean.

Contact Info:
Jennifer lash, Living Oceans Society - cell: 250-741-4006
David Cadman, SPEC - cell: 604-253-0113
John Radosevic, UFAWU - cell: 604-577-0150
Arnie Narcisse, BCAFC - cell: 604-818-2322

About the Speakers:

Jennifer Lash is the founder and Executive Director of the Living Oceans Society, based in the island community of Sointula on the Central Coast of BC. Jennifer has a background in political science and has worked on marine conservation issues for 10 years, focusing on fish farms, marine protected areas, and offshore oil and gas issues.

Arnie Narcisse is the President of the British Columbia Aboriginal Fisheries Commission, which formed in 1984 to protect and enhance the aboriginal fishing rights of the First Nations in BC. The BCAFC offers a united First Nations voice on aboriginal fishing issues. It serves to communicate, coordinate and facilitate the efforts of First Nations in dealing with fisheries issues between BC First Nations and the federal government, and to facilitate the development of consensus among First Nations on fisheries issues of common concern to First Nations.

David Cadman has been a social and environmental activist for over 25 years. As president of BC's oldest environmental organization, the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC), David has focused on ensuring that Vancouverites have clean air to breathe, pure drinking water, safe neighborhoods and communities that aren't choked with traffic. He is also current co-chair of the BC Environmental Network and chair of the Canadian Environmental Network.

John Radosevic is the President of the United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union - CAW and the Chairperson of the Sustainable Fisheries Society. He has been involved in the labour movement for over 30 years and worked in the salmon fishing industry.

Dale Marshall is resource policy analyst with the BC office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Cass Elliott is a community activist that has been involved in the anti-corporate globalisation movement as well as focusing on the environmental impact of the cosmetic use of pesticides and offshore oil and gas drilling with a particular interest in the governments and corporations that profit from these projects.

Photos of event


Jennifer Lash, Executive Director of Living Oceans Society, addresses gathering of Oil Free Coast supporters


Arnie Narcisse, spokesperson for the British Columbia Aboriginal Fisheries Commission speaks at the launch of the Oil Free Coast Alliance


David Cadman, spokesperson for Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC) addresses the crowd at the Oil Free Coast Campaign launch

Photos credit: Ivan Bullic.

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