Write a Letter to the Editor of your
A letter to the Editor is an effective way to respond to
articles in the news, raise awareness about an issue in your
region or to voice your perspective on an issue.
They are one of the most frequently read part of the newspaper.
Keep it short: 150 –200 works maximum.
Respond as quickly as you can if your letter is in response
to an article in the paper.
Avoid personal attacks.
Your full name, address and phone number are required
for verification purposes.
Follow up to see if the letter was received.
You can draft your own letter by using the points below as
a starting place or you can use the media mentor tool at http://www.wildcanada.net/oceansonline/mm-offshore.asp
If you go to the media mentor tool you will leave the Oil
Free Coast web page.
Use the one or two of the points below to get started on
- “Offshore” oil and gas is a misnomer since
drilling for oil and gas could occur as nearshore as 20km.
The nearshore zone is an extremely sensitive natural environment
and it is inappropriate to site this risky an industry there.
As well the currents within the coastal area move within
the basin and towards the shore, meaning that when oil spills
it stays within the basin and will cover the coastline.
- The proposed offshore oil and gas drilling would occur
in a region rich with bird life, millions of birds live,
breed and migrate through the coastal area known as the
Queen Charlotte Basin. A major oil spill could be devastating
to internationally significant bird areas such as the Scott
Islands, while the daily release of small amounts of oil
could be equally devastating, harming a bird’s ability
to fly or maintain adequate core body temperature. It only
takes the amount of oil the size of a quarter to result
in the death of a bird from hypothermia.
- The presence of oilrigs as well as the impacts of chronic
oiling or a larger oil spill in this region could be devastating
to the natural environment, which helps support other businesses
coast wide. As of 1998, the ecotourism sectors contributed
13,000 jobs to our economy and all indications are that
this sector has grown considerably since then. The commercial
fishing industry creates over 15,000 jobs annually and contributes
close to one billion dollars to the economy of British Columbia.
- The promise of jobs for economically depressed coastal
communities is an empty one. The truth is, more jobs could
be at risk for British Columbia’s coastal communities.
The offshore oil and gas industry is highly specialized
causing oil companies to likely bring in experienced crews
from other projects. In fact, these specialized work crews
travel the globe from site to site, which would limit the
possibilities for local people, who would need training
in offshore surveying, exploratory drilling and facility
- According to an SFU study, the most BC can hope for is
maybe 200 permanent jobs from the offshore oil and gas industry.
- Offshore oil and gas development starts with seismic
testing, a process used to find oil reserves, which comes
with significant risk. This testing requires shooting high-pressure
sound waves into the ocean. Impacts from such extreme pressure
include the destruction of eggs and larvae, damage to fish
with swim bladders, such as rockfish, and disruption of
migratory paths of marine mammals.
- Oil spills continue to be one of the greatest threats
from offshore oil and gas development. Research has shown
the Exxon Valdez spill of 1989 is still impacting the marine
ecosystem. It is estimated that over 2,000 harbour seals,
22 killer or orca whales and 25 gray whales were killed
because of the oil that spilled from the Exxon Valdez.
- In addition to spills, blowouts, and tanker accidents
the industry produces drilling muds and produced waters,
which flush poisons directly into the ocean. A single production
platform can drill 50 to 100 wells and discharge over 90,000
metric tons of drilling fluids and metal cuttings directly
into the ocean. What's more, one offshore rig emits the
same quantity of pollution as 7000 cars driving 50 miles
- In promoting the development of an offshore oil and gas
industry the B.C. government is ignoring the views of the
majority of participants and First Nations who participated
in the federal and provincial reviews of the moratorium
on offshore oil and gas. Seventy five percent of the participants
told the federal government that they wanted the moratorium
maintained. The First Nations review, which involved 70
nations, found 100 percent support for maintaining the moratorium.
- For millennia, B.C.'s coast has been home to First Nations
whose lives have been shaped by the ocean and its bounty.
Salmon continues to play a vital role in their sustenance
and sacred ceremonies. Today, First Nations communities
continue to depend on the ocean for food and spiritual inspiration.
Degradation of the ocean's health from offshore oil and
gas exploration and extraction would have a negative impact
on the many First Nations communities.
- By pursuing offshore oil and gas reserves in British
Columbia, Canada will only perpetuate its reliance on polluting
energy sources, and not honour the country’s commitment
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Accord.
Globe and Mail
444 Front St. West
Toronto, ON M5V2S9
Fax: (416) 585-5085
1450 Don Mills Rd. Ste. 300
Don Mills, ON M3B3R5
Fax: (416) 442-2212
The Vancouver Sun
200 Granville St., Ste. 1
Vancouver BC V6C3N3
Fax: (604) 605-2308
PO Box 300
Victoria, BC V8W 2N4
Fax: (250) 280-5353