Western Canada Marine Response Corp. works on bunker fuel spill in Vancouver’s English Bay from the bulk freighter MV Marathassa in April 2015. (WCMRC)

Vancouver mayor ‘disappointed’ with financial compensation for 2015 oil spill

The city received less than half of the amount claimed for the Marathassa spill in English Bay

Vancouver’s mayor says he is disappointed with compensation the city has received after an oil spill four years ago in English Bay.

Last spring, the city received $266,014 from Canada’s Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund – the second highest amount paid to a local government, according to a fund spokesperson.

However, the city had claimed twice that much – $569,053.

“This shows once again how the risks of oil spills are borne by local governments, while any benefits only benefit a small handful,” Kennedy Stewart said a statement, after the payment was mentioned during a presentation at this week’s Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver.

“That’s why I have always maintained that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is a risk we cannot afford and this case shows why.”

READ MORE: Trans Mountain pipeline — The economics of oil

In April 2015, the Cypriot-registered grain freighter Marathassa leaked 2,800 litres of oil into English Bay, sending a sheen onto many surrounding beaches.

The Canadian Coast Guard’s delayed response ignited a media firestorm in which then-mayor Gregor Robertson complained about how long it had taken to deploy containment booms and notify the city, adding that had the spill been any worse, the outcome would have been a “catastrophe.”

The Coast Guard would later complete a report that made 25 recommendations on how to deal with marine spills in the future, including improved coordination and communication.

READ MORE: Mayor, premier call oil spill response unacceptable

READ MORE: Oil spill ‘a wake-up call’ for Semiahmoo Peninsula

The fund recovered more than $2 million from the owners of the Marathassa, with offers also made to the Port of Vancouver and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The port claimed $198,947 and was offered $172,674 (including $13,874 in accrued interest), and the DFO claimed $2,431,746 and was offered $1,855,627 plus interest.

According to the claim summary, the shipmaster initially denied any responsibility for the oil spill. Transport Canada marine safety inspectors later traced the source to an on-board mechanical defect, which allowed bunker fuel into the bilge.



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pickleballers hit the courts after City lifts COVID-19 restrictions

Patrons must follow specific health and safety guidelines

MS Walk goes virtual due to COVID-19

The annual walk to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis goes online, in #WeChallengeMS initiative

First annual Forest Service Road Clean Up For Wildlife goes until May 31

Taking place from May 16-31, the contest is open for anyone to enter

VIDEO: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Most Read