Coastal First Nations welcomes the passing of the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act
The Coastal First Nations (CFN) welcomes the passing of the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act (Bill C-48). “Our communities have been fighting to keep oil tankers out of our waters for at least 40 years,” said CFN’s senior policy advisor Paul Kariya.
“Our leadership have always said that our coast is too precious and oil pipelines and tankers would threaten our culture, environment and economy,” Kariya said. “The Coastal First Nations have lived in our territories for more than 14,000 years and have a collective responsibility – along with all British Columbians and Canadians – to protect our lands, waters and resources.”
Kariya added that the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act supports and strengthens the CFN declaration to protect our environment. “For the last 20 years we have had to focus on restoring ecosystems and rebuilding healthy communities,” he said. “The moratorium gives us the opportunity to focus on a sustainable coastal economy, which CFN has already invested millions of dollars to develop.”
The Coastal First Nations has instituted a ban on oil tankers since March 2010. Our leaders have spent much time and effort protecting the lands and waters in our territories. “Today we acknowledge their leadership and vision,” said Kariya. “And we honor them and those before us who fought so hard to keep our lands, waters and resources safe.”
The Coastal First Nations is an alliance of First Nations that includes the Wuikinuxv Nation, Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xai’xais, Nuxalk, Gitga’at, Metlakatla, Old Massett, Skidegate, and Council of the Haida Nation who work together to create a sustainable economy on British Columbia’s North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii.