A nagging worry I've had about the plans to ramp up supertanker traffic through Vancouver's inner harbour and Kitimat and the Douglas Channel is their extraordinary vulnerability to sabotage or terrorism.
It wouldn't take much to block the Second Narrows or Lions Gate and it probably wouldn't take much more to create havoc in the Douglas Channel, Dixon Entrance or Hecate Strait in the north.
In those waters it could take a long time to clear a scuttled hulk. And what happens if either of those routes is blocked for any extended period?
What happens to ordinary, west coast commerce if some group decides to target the bitumen traffickers? Does Ottawa pick up the tab for the economic losses? Does Alberta or Enbridge or the tanker operators? Anybody?
How is Steve Harper going to secure these navigable waters? Is he going to fortify Vancouver's inner harbour; militarize Burrard Inlet, Coal Harbour and English Bay? Would he do the same thing to the north? Who would pay for that? You, me? Beijing maybe?
|Afromax Approaching Second Narrows|
Both routes are lined with natural choke points and navigational hazards, notorious for powerful storms, shoals and shallows, difficult tides and devilish currents. And Team Harper wants to compound that by transiting heavily-laden, barely steerable supertankers through them. I think he's begging for trouble and putting coastal British Columbia in peril.