Western Canada Marine Response Corp. works on bunker fuel spill in Vancouver’s English Bay from the bulk freighter MV Marathassa in April 2015. (WCMRC)

Vancouver mayor ‘disappointed’ with financial compensation for 2015 oil spill

The city received less than half of the amount claimed for the Marathassa spill in English Bay

Vancouver’s mayor says he is disappointed with compensation the city has received after an oil spill four years ago in English Bay.

Last spring, the city received $266,014 from Canada’s Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund – the second highest amount paid to a local government, according to a fund spokesperson.

However, the city had claimed twice that much – $569,053.

“This shows once again how the risks of oil spills are borne by local governments, while any benefits only benefit a small handful,” Kennedy Stewart said a statement, after the payment was mentioned during a presentation at this week’s Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver.

“That’s why I have always maintained that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is a risk we cannot afford and this case shows why.”

READ MORE: Trans Mountain pipeline — The economics of oil

In April 2015, the Cypriot-registered grain freighter Marathassa leaked 2,800 litres of oil into English Bay, sending a sheen onto many surrounding beaches.

The Canadian Coast Guard’s delayed response ignited a media firestorm in which then-mayor Gregor Robertson complained about how long it had taken to deploy containment booms and notify the city, adding that had the spill been any worse, the outcome would have been a “catastrophe.”

The Coast Guard would later complete a report that made 25 recommendations on how to deal with marine spills in the future, including improved coordination and communication.

READ MORE: Mayor, premier call oil spill response unacceptable

READ MORE: Oil spill ‘a wake-up call’ for Semiahmoo Peninsula

The fund recovered more than $2 million from the owners of the Marathassa, with offers also made to the Port of Vancouver and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The port claimed $198,947 and was offered $172,674 (including $13,874 in accrued interest), and the DFO claimed $2,431,746 and was offered $1,855,627 plus interest.

According to the claim summary, the shipmaster initially denied any responsibility for the oil spill. Transport Canada marine safety inspectors later traced the source to an on-board mechanical defect, which allowed bunker fuel into the bilge.



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Young Ucluelet local earns Indigenous Language Revitalization Diploma

Timmy Masso hasn’t entered Grade 12 yet, but he’s already secured a University of Victoria diploma.

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Big Beach parties spark concern in Ucluelet

“You find needles, left over party debris, bottles and still burning fires.”

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

Beloved Island woman dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in Chemainus in two short years

Man arrested for allegedly pushing unsuspecting seniors, jumping on cars at Parksville mall

Cops arrest man after ‘aggressive incident’ at Wembley Mall in Parksville

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Most Read