Contact
Oil Free Coast Oil and water don't mix. Keep British Columbia's coast oil free.
Oil Free Coast Take Action!

Write a Letter to the Editor of your favorite Newspaper

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.

Tips

  • 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.


Getting started
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 your letter.

  • “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 construction.

  • 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 a day.

  • 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.


Newspaper Contacts

Globe and Mail
444 Front St. West
Toronto, ON M5V2S9
Fax: (416) 585-5085
Email: letters@GlobeAndMail.ca
Website: www.globeandmail.com

National Post
1450 Don Mills Rd. Ste. 300
Don Mills, ON M3B3R5
Fax: (416) 442-2212
Email: queries@nationalpost.com
Website: www.nationalpost.com

The Vancouver Sun
200 Granville St., Ste. 1
Vancouver BC V6C3N3
Fax: (604) 605-2308
Email: sunletters@pacpress.southam.ca
Website: www.canada.com/vancouver/vancouversun

Times Colonist
PO Box 300
Victoria, BC V8W 2N4
Fax: (250) 280-5353
Email: letters@times-colonist.com