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Opinion

Bill C-48 and the ecological legacy of Canada’s Pacific Coast

By Misty MacDuffee and Chris Genovali      

The B.C. coast is a single system where the land and ocean blend. What befalls the ocean, befalls the species of the land. It is no place for oil tankers.

As the federal government looks to codify a 35-year moratorium on oil tanker traffic into law, these whales are returning to their historic feeding grounds. While we continue our work to ensure the priceless and irreplaceable B.C. coast can continue its unparalleled evolutionary journey, we will mark Bill C-48 as an important and necessary step in ensuring that future. Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

SIDNEY, B.C.—British Columbia’s north and central coast, also known as the Great Bear Rainforest, along with Haida Gwaii, hosts a uniquely biodiverse region that is becoming increasingly rare in this world. It is a place where lush forests and granite buttresses greet the sea, where grizzlies dig for clams in sight of the open Pacific, where wolves swim to distant islands in pursuit of seals, where hydrophones detect the ethereal calls of killer whales that follow salmon to freshwater rivers. In the summer, one can watch the sun set on the blows of feeding humpbacks surrounded by thousands of shearwaters, auklets, and gulls who are in pursuit of tiny fish that spawn on sandy shores or on the giant kelps that buffer the fragile shoreline.

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