Tomorrow will mark the one year anniversary of Vancouver’s oil spill in English Bay.
In the time that’s passed, executive director of the BC Wildlife Rescue Association Coleen Doucette says there hasn’t been any concrete change to legislation that protects wildlife affected by such spills.
“It’s not included in any regulations at all pertaining to the clean-up of an oil spill in Canada. So, that’s where our hardest blockade is when it comes to rescuing wildlife during spills is Canada has no legislation that mandates wildlife is included, collected and treated during a spill response.”
Is anything in the works?
Locally, this is an issue that Doucette and her team have been working on with BC’s Ministry of Environment. Also, the federal government’s ‘World Class’ oil spill response plan will include regulations to make protecting wildlife a priority after a spill in the future.
But as of right now, there is nothing in place.
“We’ve yet to reach a point where we are protecting our wildlife in spills and other circumstances. [Legislation] would allow wildlife rescue associations to be part of the team that’s working to take care of the whole spill situation.”
Wildlife rescuers really do use Dawn
When it comes to cleaning up animals after a spill, Doucette says the process includes using Dawn dish soap to scrub sticky feathers and fur. Looks like those commercials weren’t exaggerating.
“I’ve been working in spill response for over 20 years and have always used Dawn because it’s been scientifically tested to be the highest quality to remove the oil and for us as wildlife rescuers, the key component is that it’s safe and gentle to the feathers and skin of animals.”