Ucluelet’s municipal candidates talk tanker traffic

Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion means Ucluelet could see an increase in tanker traffic and locals want to know where there municipal candidates stand on the issue.

Ucluelet’s slate of municipal hopefuls were asked about pipeline expansions during last week’s all candidates meeting.

Among the candidates, incumbent Geoff Lyons expressed the firmest support for pipelines.

“There’s an economic opportunity for Canada, and British Columbia specifically, with oil pipelines but only after commitment that there’s going to be the best possible protection for the environment,” he said.

He said thousands of vessels currently pass by Ucluelet every day regardless of any expansions and spoke to Ucluelet’s lobbying efforts towards transforming the Coast Guard property at Amphitrite Point into an oil spill response centre.

“I am in support of the pipeline and I think the economic benefit to BC is incredible,” he said.

“We just need to make sure that everyone is kept with their feet to the fire to make sure that they’re giving us that protection and we can certainly provide Ucluelet as a source of that protection by offering our Coast Guard property as an area where that can be utilized.”

He expressed his desire to see a transition to green energy, specifically wave energy, in the future.

 â€œThe accountant in me says there has to be a strategic move from oil; if we turn oil off tomorrow there would be an economic collapse of the world’s economy,” he said.

“We need to phase ourselves out of it and it’s going to take 30-50 years in my personal mind.”

Mayco Noel did not offer a stance on pipelines but suggested Ucluelet could have a leg up on Tofino in terms of emergency response.

“One thing that Tofino doesn’t have which Ucluelet has the possibility of is commercial public barge facilities for actually accessing the water,” he said.   

“The district of Tofino to my knowledge doesn’t have that. Ucluelet could have an upper hand for the Coast for quick response and stuff like that.”

Incumbent Dario Corlazzoli said he was undecided and needed more information.

“I think most people in British Columbia need to be educated with actually truthful information, not from the oil companies and not from governments but from people,” he said. “If it is possible safely, then show us and prove it to us.”

He expressed concern over the closure of the Amphitrite Coast Guard station in Ucluelet and echoed Lyons sentiment that the property should become an oil response centre.

“They’re taking away things that, in my mind, they should be expanding,” he said.

 â€œThey need to prove to us that they have concern for our environment and they can show us by putting things in place that can deal with a problem if it does happen.”

Incumbent Randy Oliwa said locals make decisions with their everyday purchases.  

“I’m not going to lecture anybody here because everybody that I speak with nowadays is so in tune with the power of their dollar. If you don’t want to shop in the frozen food section of your local grocery store because you don’t believe in that food, don’t do it,” he said.

“The same type of analogy transcends to every day actions (like) turning off the light switch. What are you doing yourself personally, in your home and teaching your children, to conserve? That’s where it starts.”

Incumbent Sally Mole said Ucluelet’s coastline is a “hugely valuable resource,” that she would be hard-pressed to mess with.

“It would take a lot for me to be convinced that adding any more burden or possible risk to damaging that environment, that valuable coastline we have; it would be a hard argument to make,” she said.

Marilyn McEwen spoke to the recent oil spill scare caused when a large Russian vessel lost power near Haida Gwaii and was at risk of crashing ashore and spilling its oil

She said the potential disaster put a focus on the potential dangers to coastlines.

“I too would want more information and to be assured there are some safeguards in place before I condoned more activity,” she said.  

Read more meeting coverage in this week’s Westerly News, on newsstands now.

reporter@westerlynews.ca

 

Just Posted

Tofino Hatchery wraps up successful season

“If you give those things half a chance, they will go to the ‘nth degree’ to get up those rivers.”

Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News earns four national awards

The Westerly was announced as the recipient of four Canadian Community Newspaper Awards last week.

Culture provides authentic means to education for Ahousaht and Klemtu students

Tying lessons into a real-world scenario creates a more significant and community-based classroom

Tofino police believe alcohol was a factor in Thursday night car crash

The crash knocked out power to the community from 6:44-10:01 p.m

Ucluelet Secondary School Class of 2019 embark on a new chapter

School will host graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 15 at 2 p.m.

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read