BRITISH COLUMBIA

Fed's Oil Spill Response Blasted By B.C. Premier, Vancouver Mayor

04/10/2015 01:40 EDT | Updated 06/10/2015 05:59 EDT
B.C. Premier Christy Clark has blasted the federal government response to Wednesday's oil spill in Vancouver's English Bay, saying it may be time to hand over responsibility to the province.

Speaking from her office in Vancouver, Clark said the six-hour delay in placing booms around the leaking tanker and the 12-hour delay notifying the city "showed a shortage of good judgment and nimbleness."

Clark said it she felt it may be time to hand over the Canadian Coast Guard's responsibility for oil-spill cleanups to the provincial government. 

"Somebody needs to do a better job of protecting the coast, and the coast guard has not done it," said Clark. 

Both the federal and provincial efforts were also criticized earlier Friday by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who called the efforts "totally inadequate."

Cleanup moves to shoreline

Robertson blamed the federal and provincial governments for a lack of leadership in responding to the spill — now identified as toxic bunker fuel — saying he had several significant questions about the level of co-ordination.

Earlier Friday, coast guard officials said efforts to clean up the spill will shift to the shorelines following reports part of the slick had reached beaches in West Vancouver. 

Transport Canada said an aerial survey on Friday morning determined that almost all of the oil in the water had been cleaned up by skimmers on Thursday, and only a few small patches remained. 

Transport Canada has confirmed the estimated 2,700 litres of oil was bunker fuel from the vessel M/V Marathassa, as had been suspected.

The official cause of the leak has not been released, but officials believe it was due to an unintentional malfunction on board the vessel, which was on its maiden voyage after being launched from a Japanese shipyard in February. 

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Vancouver Oil Spill, April 2015