Omnitrax Canada’s plan to ship over three million barrels of oil per year (3.3 to be exact) through the port of Churchill has come upon some opposition. Go figure. Why would anyone oppose shipping light “sweet” crude oil through potentially ice filled waters inhabited by thousands of polar bears, seals, whales and shorebirds…not to mention millions of fish, krill, capelin….ok I mentioned them….and various other marine-life. The only thing “sweet” about this are profits that will be reaped by Omnitrax and parties associated with the Alberta oil sands, the main producer of the product to be exported by tankers…through the pristine waters of the Hudson Bay!
Until further serious study of the process is carried out not one drop of crude oil should leave port. Yes, we all know that Nunuvut communities have been supplied via small tankers filled from the tank farm up the hill toward Cape Merry out of Churchill for many years..but that has been out of necessity for pure survival of northern peoples. This venture is for profit and not all the logistics, especially emergency related, have been carefully studied.
If a spill occurred, the pristine Hudson Bay would be critically damaged indefinitely. Due to the remoteness, cold weather, frigid water and rough weather, spill clean-up would be impossible at best. And since the currents in the bay flow in a counter-clockwise rotation around the bay, the oil would spread all along the coastline. Rivers and tributaries would also be affected as the tides cause water flow in and out of them. The repercussions on animal life would be devastating and thus humans would be severely affected as well. People whose existence depends on hunting from the Hudson Bay would be in grave danger in places north that offer very few alternatives for making a living in economies that support very few. People in places like Churchill would possibly lose their livelihoods from the tourism niche there. Oily polar bears, birds, whales don’t attract people with cameras and dreams of the beautiful Arctic
Please do not allow this to happen….be active in the cause to prevent oil in the Hudson Bay.