Cullen to appear as a witness at Senate hearings in Prince Rupert

PRINCE RUPERT – Nathan Cullen, MP (Skeena–Bulkley Valley) will be appearing as a witness this Tuesday, April 16, in Prince Rupert before the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications who are visiting the Northwest as part of their study into Bill C-48.

Senators are holding day-long hearings in Prince Rupert and Terrace this week to hear from witnesses on the proposed oil tanker moratorium for the North Coast. The bill would ban on oil tankers from traveling along the North Coast, with the intent of protecting the ocean and crucial wildlife habitats, including the Great Bear Rainforest, from the risk of an oil spill.

The idea of a legal ban was first introduced in Parliament by MP Cullen in 2014, at the time as a response to the threat of the Northern Gateway pipeline project. Last May, with government support, C-48 was passed in the House of Commons but since then has remained stuck in the Senate. The government had included the bill in a motion intended to move forward delayed legislation, but it was later dropped by Liberal and Independent Senators in a deal agreed with Conservatives, leaving its path forward uncertain.

Speaking before his appearance, Cullen expressed his frustration with the delay: “We are now only a few short months away from the end of this Parliament and still this bill has not been passed by Senators. Folks in the Northwest have been clear that we need this ban to protect our coast, our fisheries and our way of life here. I will be reminding Senators that this has already been approved by elected MPs and that they cannot keep running out the clock like this. I hope that others will be able to come along and send a clear message that people here want this to happen” stated Cullen.

The hearings are open to the public and will be held at the Highliner Plaza Hotel in Prince Rupert on Tuesday April 16 and the Best Western Inn in Terrace on Wednesday April 17.