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.



[email protected]

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

B.C. Indigenous communities receive funding for hands-on trades training

Nuxalk, Witset, Penticton Indian Band, TRU Williams Lake, and Camosun College among beneficiaries

Nuxalk College undertakes language digitization project

New tapes from over 50 years ago are set to be digitally transcribed

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Bella Coola under another winter storm warning

Freezing rain is expected by this afternoon

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Mayors call for ‘calmness’ as highway rockslide cuts Tofino, Ucluelet off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Owner surrenders dog suffering from days-old gunshot wound to B.C. SPCA

The dog was also found to be emaciated and suffering from a flea infestation

B.C. man dies after police called for ‘firearms injury’ in rural Alberta

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

Most Read