Lasqueti floated as pipeline terminus

Trust Council chair responds to magazine piece

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Lasqueti Island is one of the more remote communities in the Islands Trust Area, boasting passenger-only ferry service, stands of old growth forest, no paved roads and no BC Hydro electric grid to serve its 400 residents.

The transformation of this alternative sanctuary into a massive shipping terminal for raw bitumen would seem unthinkable to most, but that’s exactly what was proposed by Edward G. Monteiro in the magazine BC Shipping News last month.

The marine consultant and ship’s captain ponders the dilemma of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project in a guest column, stating it will probably never succeed with the current plans to end the twinned pipeline at the existing Burnaby terminus.

“Part of the problem has been trying to implement the project in a location that might not be suitable,” Monteiro writes, while advocating an “out of sight, out of mind” approach.

“If the pipeline was diverted to a relatively unoccupied or isolated island in the outer reaches of Vancouver, where no one could see or care, it would be half the battle won,” he argues.

Islands Trust Council has undertaken multiple advocacy projects that deal with protecting the Salish Sea from shipping threats. It has called on the federal government to work towards eliminating the use of 33 commercial freighter anchorages throughout the southern Gulf Islands and advocated for senior government policy to deal with abandoned vessels.

“We were certainly distressed about the lack of awareness of the Salish Sea,” Luckham said about Monteiro’s column. “And when you think about it, it’s absurd a senior ranking officer in a professional capacity thinks you can snow people by doing something where you can’t see it.”

“He completely doesn’t get that our issue is the shipping and the potential of a spill, and also climate change,” Luckham added.

A response to the piece has been drafted, with hopes it will be published in an upcoming issue of the shipping industry magazine. Luckham notes in his response that Monteiro refers to the pipeline terminus as “tidewater,” which is a term the oil industry frequently uses.

“In describing the shortcoming of the current ‘tidewater,’ also known as Burnaby, Cpt. Monterio does an excellent job of outlining why it’s a terrible idea to ship toxic bitumen through the complex narrows of Burrard Inlet right past downtown Vancouver,” Luckham writes, before explaining why shipping it to an island in a protected region would be an even worse idea.

“We are firmly against the expansion because the west coast of Canada isn’t simply ‘tidewater.’ It isn’t the end of the line. It is a precious, fragile part of the world that needs our protecting. Not just for ourselves but for future generations.”

For more on this story, see the June 12, 2019 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.

7 Comments
  1. angela says

    “Situate this (sic) monstrosity on a relatively remote or unoccupied island where no one will see or care… “. Shame on you Mr. Monteiro. You should go join the Trump gang and leave BC to people who care. This is Exactly the attitude that has gotten our planet into such an extremely dangerous place. Shame on you.

  2. Deborah says

    I live on another Gulf Island, but close to Lasqueti. It boggles the mind that so much of the world and possibly Canada think pipelines and bitumen are more important that orcas and salmon. I fear the day is fast approaching when “they” will learn, up close and personal, that you cannot eat bitumen or the petroleum based paper that Canadian currency is made with……….

  3. Turcotte Jean-Pierre says

    jpierre3333@gmail.com THE oil and economic high priests of greed still don’t get it. Can there ever be any other faction more moronic and infected than these two? NO, means no. And you morons only see the eye of the needle which is as void as your mentality. You don’t see that TMX threatens not just on the coast and beyond, but all the way there. i.e. it threatens the entire Fraser watershed. TMX WILL NOT HAPPEN!

  4. West Coast Best Coast says

    Edward G. Monteiro needs to stop talking and retire. Men like this are the same who have led us to the current state of climate crisis we all now face. His time and the time of those like him is over.

  5. Catriona Miller says

    Growing up on Lasqueti Island was not everyone bag. We had beautiful property right on the ocean. As a young children we would swim not stop in the summer and often have family dinners on the beach. We would watch the ocean liners go past and on a clear evening could here the guests on these mighty ships. I can not imagine ever wanting to watch an oil tanker go by. Yes Lasqueti is pristine, beautiful and magic to those that inhabit the island. You will see what 400 out of sight out of mine people will do if this project moves ahead. Interestingly there is no hydro or paved roads and only a passenger ferry for a reason. Also the waters through the Georgia Strait can be nasty and unpredictable. Not to mention all the sea life that could be affected. Bad idea and I wish nothing but tanker block after tanker block to stop this ridiculous idea going forward.

  6. ROBIN HILLIARD says

    What about using Robert’s Bank at Tsawwassen? The facility ships coal so why not bitumen?

  7. Gail says

    Can you please explain why they just don’t build an oil refinery, where they are getting the oil from. Probably at a fraction of the cost of this dammed pipe line. The oil should be processed right where it’s coming from. They would still create thousands of jobs, And the icing on the cake is no potential threats to the ocean from oil spills , or leaks. And we all know that is bound to happen. Every piece of land is important and supports all kinds of wildlife.
    Canadians shouldn’t be paying twice as much to buy their own resources back. We have been doing it forever with our own lumber. Wake up you Greedy people.

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