British Columbia has a long-standing offshore oil ban, established in 1971. The provincial government tried to lift the ban during the 1980s, but the Exxon Valdez disaster, spilling 40 million litres of crude oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound, scuttled that movement.
With the extreme weather along the B.C. coast, the potential for an oil spill there would be high. The Exxon Valdez spread oil over 2,400 kilometers of coastline, contaminating both ocean and land-based ecosystems.
Allowing offshore oil production in B.C. would increase pollution of coastal waters and place vulnerable ecosystems (such as the Great Bear Rainforest, and the beloved Spirit Bear) within range of potential oil spills.