There are ways to mitigate the risk of spills without totally eliminating the transport of oil on the West Coast, says letter writer. (Stock photo)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Keep tankers coming, mitigate risks

Add more stringent conditions to the building of the vessels, says letter writer

To the editor,

Re: Oil spills are an unacceptable risk to oceans, Opinion, Oct. 24.

David Suzuki postulates that oil spills are an unacceptable risk; while in essence I agree with that statement, I do not agree with the methodology of mitigating that risk. Suzuki intimates that Canada should not have any pipelines to transport oil and natural gas to the West Coast due to the risk of having an oil spill for an oil tanker that is transporting that product to market.

What about the ships that are transporting other products like wood, minerals? What about the ship traffic that brings in goods from other countries? What about the ships that are coming in from not-so-ethical countries that feed the eastern market of Canada?

By not allowing Alberta, which is a land-locked province and needs viable sources of transportation to move its products top markets, starves Alberta’s economy. My son who graduated university in chemical engineering was unemployed due to the poor market conditions for a year and half.

I feel that mitigating the risk is utterly important, but there are other ways of mitigating the risk. That is more stringent conditions to the operation and manufacturing of pipelines, more stringent conditions to the building of the vessels that transport these products to offshore markets, like double-hull vessels (which are already in effect for Western Canada shipping but not in Eastern Canada vessels.)

By using his analogy, to mitigate risk is to ban it, then the risk of being in an accident should be mitigated by not going outdoors and staying in your house. You cannot eliminate risk, one can only mitigate or reduce it.

Norm Wolf, Nanaimo

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