Frequently Asked Questions About A Pacific North Coast Oil Tanker Ban:
1. What has the federal government committed to?
The Mandate Letters from Prime Minister Trudeau to the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard include the following as a top priority for both Ministries: “formalize the moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic on British Columbia’s North Coast, including the Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait, and Queen Charlotte Sound.”
2. Why is the federal government committing to “formalize” a moratorium – is there already a moratorium in place?
A federal commitment to an oil tanker moratorium on B.C.’s north coast dates back to the government of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in the 1970s.However, the moratorium commitment was not enshrined in legislation. The federal government has the legal power to make decisions about the administration of Canada’s internal waters without using legislation, but the limitations of non-legislative approach became apparent when the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper refused to recognize the commitment to an oil tanker moratorium in the region. The purpose of formalizing a legislated ban is to ensure we have lasting protection from the risks of oil tankers and to remove all doubt about the legal status of the moratorium.
3. What is the difference between a moratorium and a ban?
Using the common definitions of these words, a moratorium is a temporary prohibition of an activity, whereas a ban prohibits an action altogether. The purpose of a legislated ban is to ensure we have lasting protection from the risks of oil tankers and to remove all doubt about the status of the moratorium.