Cullen calls on PM to stand by promises to ban tanker traffic on BC coast


April 25, 2016

SKIDEGATE – Amid media reports and growing fears the Liberal government is wavering on clear commitments to ban oil tanker traffic on BC’s north coast, Environment and Climate Change critic Nathan Cullen today called on the Prime Minister to stand by his word and stand up for Canadians.

“I’m stunned,” Cullen said during constituency meetings on Haida Gwaii this afternoon.  “Mr. Trudeau is on record over and over again as saying ‘the Northern Gateway Pipeline will not happen.’

“He has twice voted in favour of a north coast tanker ban in the House, promised it repeatedly during the federal campaign, and included it in the mandate letter to his Transport Minister.”

Cullen said Canadians have watched the Prime Minister shift from a pledge last November to “formalize a moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic” along BC’s northern coastline to now being evasive and noncommittal on the issue.  Cullen said his constituents, and thousands of people across the country, who believed Trudeau’s promises are hurt, angry and demanding straight answers.

“The Prime Minister needs to explain why he is wavering.  People I’m talking to on Haida Gwaii today aren’t about to allow Mr. Trudeau to play politics with our wild salmon and marine environment.”

Cullen warned Trudeau’s hints of a weaker moratorium and a potential backtrack on opposition to the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline would be disastrous to Liberal attempts to improve government-to-government working relations with First Nations.

“Selling out on the moratorium and resuscitating Northern Gateway would be nothing short of an outright betrayal of First Nations,” Cullen said.

“This is the opposite of reconciliation, the opposite of leadership, and the opposite of what Canadians voted for on October 19th.”

Cullen wraps up a four-day trip to Haida Gwaii today and travels to Bella Bella and Klemtu for the rest of the week.  Trudeau and his Cabinet began a three-day retreat in Alberta yesterday, last night hearing from Premier Rachel Notley about the importance of pipelines to her province and the country.

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Contact: Shelley Browne, 250-877-4140;