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Gitga’at First Nation calls for ban on North Coast oil tanker passage

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The Gitga'at First Nation has called for the immediate passage of a North Coast oil tanker ban following a recent diesel spill in the Great Bear Rainforest.

The elected Council of the Gitga'at First Nation has issued the following statement on the sinking of the Nathan E. Stewart tugboat and the stranding of fuel barge DBL 55 near Waglisla (Bella Bella).

"On behalf of the Gitga'at First Nation, we express our deep sympathy and steadfast support for our brothers and sisters in the Heiltsuk First Nation, who are dealing with a nightmare diesel spill and unfolding environmental disaster.

"This incident is a powerful reminder that regardless of response time, there is no technology that can adequately cleanup a spill, and we expect the federal government to announce the immediate implementation of a North Coast crude oil tanker ban, as promised by our Prime Minister.

"Canada's oil spill response body - which is owned by the oil companies themselves - is named Western Canada Marine 'Response' Corporation for a reason. They will eventually respond to a spill; they just don't have the technology to clean anything up, and are only on site to make it appear that something is being done. In the meantime, communities suffer.”

"We have first hand experience of the hardships and emotional and psychological pain that come with environmental contamination, and our hearts go out to those who will lose access to the seafood harvesting sites their communities rely on as a result of this incident."

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