Vancouver’s mayor is lashing out at the provincial and federal governments over the oil spill in English Bay
The day after the city was notified about the spill, Gregor Robertson calls the response “totally inadequate.”
While he praises the forces on the front lines, he’s blasting senior government leaders, specifically named B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak and federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt.
“This really goes back to the leadership, the lack of leadership from the federal and provincial governments to make sure that these efforts are coordinated, that there is an immediate response to an oil spill in Vancouver’s waters, regardless of the scale of it, and that response was lacking.”
Speaking to reporters at Sunset Beach, Robertson says he cut short his Easter vacation to deal with the spill, saying if it had been any worse, this kind of response would have been a “catastrophe.”
He says we still don’t know exactly what the substance is, and is concerned it took so long for the city to be notified.
“Too slow, not enough information, and citizens of Vancouver are very frustrated.”
Premier Christy Clark held a news conference shortly after Robertson spoke, publicly addressing the spill for the first time
“I am very, very disappointed that the City of Vancouver was not notified until hours after it happened. Equally, even more disappointed I would say, it took them six hours, to get booms in place.”
As for the concerns of the Mayor, Clark says perhaps Robertson lacks a “thorough understanding” of the unified command response to the spill.
Responding to questions about her refusal to do interviews yesterday, Environment Minister Mary Polak insists the “unified” action from various provincial agencies was swift.
“Dealing with wildlife impacts, dealing with potential clean up and safety issues on the land, on beaches. That incident command post is set up. It is manned, it is staffed and all of these resources are put into play immediately and that was what we were most focused on yesterday.”