Some ship accidentally pumped 700 gallons of bunker oil into the pristine waters off Vancouver’s jewel of an urban park. Stanley Park is rightly valued and prized. It is the exception in what is the usual urban blight of big cities. Outrage is warranted.
‘Course no one in that ‘world class’ city noticed or responded for something like 12 hours! The timing is being debated but it was at least 7 hours. They got a leaky boom out after a great deal had already hit the beaches. And this is the ‘world class’ response to a world class city’s most beloved area. This is like the centre of our province imagery-wise, and we were asleep at the helm. And the ducks died.
Imagine a spill anywhere else on the coast. You have to imagine it because no one is there to see it or report it or respond to it. Our coast is more exposed to pollution and slime than a porn star.
A spill on the coast would be horrendous. It will die.
And so will a number of other creatures in the Stanley Park spill according to the aquarium staff. Only 700 gallons (average amount that an SUV uses in a year) and there is a world class finger-pointing, responsibility-ducking hysteria in full-blown blaming-of-others. It is a minor disaster in a world of disasters but it still qualifies – especially as a disaster in management and governance.
As an aside, Enbridge didn’t show up to volunteer their help (there is an unsubstantiated report that Enbridge owns the spill response company that eventually did show up – and will bill for their time, I am sure. It was substantiated. They DO own it along with KinderMorgan Pipeline – the two potential creators of disaster have a for-profit company to send out when they screw up and so they can bill us! ) They of the lying-variety ads that professed that ‘they lived in our communities and loved nature’. The province did ‘squat’ but, to be fair, they have not invested in any kind of relevant response to anything environmental for decades including the latest debacle – Mt. Polley.
The Feds did…kinda….by way of the nearly eviscerated Coast Guard who did what they could given that they are no longer situated where they needed to be – the local station having been closed by the Feds two years ago. The boat they would have used was in mothballs. And, of course, the city that is selling out just pointed fingers.
World class? If that’s world class, it sure ain’t good enough. Responsibility, accountability, real work? Missing in the inaction. Politics and blaming? Everywhere. It’s embarrassing.
But here is the real reason for the blog (yes, some of it is for venting, I admit that freely). People showed up at the beach offering to help. People volunteered instantly. The citizens responded without waiting for the blame to be placed or even for the proper equipment to be in place. They came with towels and bags, I guess.
The PEOPLE SHOWED UP!
And THE AUTHORITIES PROHIBITED them from getting near the scene of the slime!
Does that make any sense? Isn’t that ‘instruction’ to stay away almost in the same category as screaming ‘Get on the ground! Get on the ground now!’ from police exercising some type of misplaced control response founded in nothing logical whatsoever? Why not let the people help? So what if they get gooey? They are over 19 (presumably) and know what cleaning up an oil spill means. Why do the people listen to those idiots? Why didn’t the people save the duck anyway and just say, “Well, after I have saved this little tyke, you can take me to jail.”
The disaster is NOT just in the oil spill. Like our politics, like our society, like our collective dysfunction, the disaster is in us. (For the record, there were reports of people doing just that – disobeying the authorities- and helping anyway. Great people in my book!). I swear that had I been there – and I am just as afraid of being shot and tasered as the next guy – I would have disobeyed the authorities and saved a duck! Call me a crazy criminal if you want to, but I would do that (as did a few Vancouverite free thinkers).
Defection, deflection and as the Coast Guard said, ” We do not clean up oil spills that job is done by private contractors.”
And as you know the private sector can preform any service better than the public sector. The issue is privatization of public services such as the clean up of oil spills. Of course Ms Clark is mewing to deflect from her government’s failure to plan for oil spills. You know the mantra, “It can not happen here.”
You cannot take the money with you when you die. You die and your soul goes to heaven or to hell or to that great Haldron Collider in the sky. Or not. Doesn’t matter, really..you simply cannot take it with you. SO WHY BE SUCH A SCHEMING, GREEDY PIG? WHY BE A LYING WEASEL POLITICIAN? WHY NOT DO THE RIGHT THING OR WATCH TV. I don’t get it….
Because whenever an opportunity arises she tries to play the long game, for now, Clark’s long game is to throw her conservative buddies under the bus. Did you hear what May said about spill? Scathing, eviscerating of the conservatives! Now where is fisheries or the Ministry of the Environment? LOL
The best part of the entire clean up charade was when the “experts” arrived to clean up in their HAZMAT gear………raincoats, gloves and rubber boots……no masks, no eye protection. Just garbage bags and Sou’westers……
What an obscene joke.
I know. It’s embarrassing. It really is. Hazmat suits, fer gawd’s sake. All to impress the audience who have to be held back behind police tapes or something. But – is it just me – or does something not quite smell right when Enbridge owns the oil clean-up company? Doesn’t that mean that they make money if it doesn’t spill AND if it does? Admittedly, I can’t see the ‘private sector’ investing in boom boats and vacuums and booms and crap just to sit moldering because the other guy in the oil business was neat and tidy. Mind you…I suppose that every glass business could be said to be in the same pickle – “Geez, business is down. Time to give away a box of slingshots to the nearest school again.” I dunno….doesn’t seem right to me to pay for clean and for dirty. I think that job should be Coast Guard and they should get all the equipment and the budget.
Im not sure if I mentioned this story on this blog before but here goes.
I was working in the Victoria Shipyards. The dry dock, cranes, power etc is owned by the Feds.
Everything else( ship construction repair is run by the private sector.)
One windy day an oily rag the size of a dish towel blew off the deck of a BC Ferry undergoing repairs and landed in the water. The oil began to spread a thin film on the water. No worse than if you spilled some gas filling your outboard motor.
TEN Publics Work Canada employees with clipboards watched the cleanup……TEN.
All of them stood around pointing and shouting instructions to the 2 private employees in a small aluminum skiff installing a containment boom. Then new oil soak rags were spread across the top of the water covering an area about 100ft x 100ft. Then those rags were bagged. 5 garbage bags of rags for a non event. To be sent to a hazardous waste disposal site.
Your tax dollars at work.
What a timely and fortunate incident! Fortunate that it wasn’t a major spill/catastrophe. Even though it was “80% cleaned up” this a.m. there probably isn’t more than 50 or 60% remaining? Do they ever get “cleaned up”. I doubt that anyone can imagine the consequences of a ‘major’ incident. Perhaps, if you attended the Exxon Valdez mishap. Then an LNG conflagration might be the best outcome. No messy cleanup required! When will they ever learn!
AND the Coast Guard just announced closure of two or three more stations. How did we ever get such nincompoops in power?
There is a very interesting paperback novel written by a former provincial NDP politician from Nova Scotia
‘What I Learned About Politics” by Graham Steele. Nimbus Press.
Each chapter in the book deals with naive misconceptions and the harsh reality of political life.
He started as a wide eyed do gooder and ended bitterly disgusted with the entire process.
The Canadian Parliamentary system isnt working for voters in its present form.
It ALL needs to be revamped.
Free voting on major issues or referendums on major issues would be a good start. So that members of the Legislature or Parliament could vote the way their constituents want instead of the way the leader of the party demands.
Too much control in the hands of too few people that are influenced by Lobbyists.
Criminal if it wasnt so sad.
You know, that REALLY IS the sad part – I am sure that most of these idiots started out trying to do the right thing. I am sure of that. I know some of them. But then they ‘roll over’. Or sell out. Or chicken out. They are party-whipped into marching goose-step with some sociopath leader. I don’t get it. BUT I definitely experienced it.
I once ran for a nomination. It was so close both of us contenders went to ‘Candidate School’. In CS they told us what to say, what to do, what to think and how to think it. I spoke up. “Hey! You said that we could rep our constituents. You said, we could speak our mind. It’s in your little platform book.”
The answer: “Never mind that. Do as you are told. Say only what we say you can say.”
And, while I was being confrontational, the party whip was hitting on Sally. That’s right, the sleaze was coming on to her even while were in CS!!
We walked out on the spot.
And that was not even DAY ONE!!??