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

Revelstoke’s snow removal so far this year cost $1.3M

Roughly 440 cm of snow fell this winter

Bus rider who travelled to Golden tests positive for COVID-19

The passenger travelled from Calgary to Golden on March 15

North Okanagan bands together in support against COVID-19

New group launches website with tools to help endure crisis

WATCH: Salmon Arm artist hosts virtual art show amid COVID-19

Roxi Hermsen’s show “Into the Cosmos” is a tribute to her father Bill Sim

HERGOTT: COVID-19 and ICBC

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

COVID-19: Armstrong gym fined $345 after failure to close

The fitness centre was issued a ticket a day after province ordered all gyms to close

Armed robbery of legal grow-op in Sicamous ends in arrest near Enderby

Residents alarmed over increased police presence Tuesday morning

Wildfire burns out-of-control on Adams Lake band land in the Shuswap

BC Wildfire Service reports Shuswap two-hectare fire is not threatening structures

COVID-19: Vernon homeless shelters combine in curling club

Gateway and Our Place shelter sites housed under one roof amid pandemic

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

‘Overwhelming, incredible’ support for foreign workers following West Kelowna COVID-19 outbreak

‘…Our team seems to be recovering well — symptoms are resolving’

Most Read