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CONTRIBUTION · 16th July 2010
The Tyee News Online
"They're taking a new 6,000 horsepower tractor tug and not only are they taking two crew members off, they're taking the second class engineer off and replacing him with a deckhand with two weeks training that is basically like a gas jockey certificate. If there was a mechanical problem on the tug, there would be no one qualified to deal with it." said Brad MacTavish, who is also a chief engineer with 30 years experience.

He says that Transport Canada is using "loopholes... to allow assist tugs escorting tankers to go out with two-man crews when they used to require a four-man crew. They allowed the companies to twist the law around in the last year."

Read the whole story HERE.
Comment by les wamough on 5th August 2010
The Pine River runs thru the east side of the Pine Pass ,and into the Peace Riverbelow Chetwynd .The oil that fouled the waters of the Pine Blinded all the beavers that encountered the oil. A blind beaver is a dead beaver. Les
Dave & Barry
Comment by James Ippel on 23rd July 2010
First Walter, I am sorry I did not initially remember the Pine River spill, but when you connected Chetwynd to it, it comes back to me. Yes, this was a terrible situation, and the impacts were horrendous. Maybe you could enlighten me what has transpired in the meantime, and what is the current status on the potable water in this area.
As for the credentials of the President of the Merchant Service Guild. I believe they are very important. For all I know, this man was a very vocal person, a good union member, and through politics, worked his way to this position. This is a possibility, and I am not saying this happened.
What I take offence to is this. Each time there is a company, or organization that wants to partake in a major project, there are all kinds of opponents, and they seem to get the press time to voice their sometimes somewhat slanted opinions. I do not beleive that Transport Canada is out there to help "BIG BUSINESS." because there are too many watchdogs like yourself to hold their feet to the fire.
As for you Barry. What are you talking about?
My mind's made up.
Comment by Barry English on 21st July 2010

My mind's made up . . . don't confuse me with the facts! I thought you were better than that Jim.
Comment by Dave Brocklebank on 21st July 2010
I cannot believe a person seemingly knowledgeable as yourself does not remember the Pine Pass spill and it's impacts on Chetwynd.
The same area Enbridge's line will go through besides many many more, more impact-able and worse terrain sections.
As to the credentials of the President of the Merchant Service Guild and where he earned them - what's the relevance??
He is passing on concerns about the changes Transport Canada is making to help BIG BUSINESS make more money while jeopardizing safeguards that were put in place to protect the best interests of the citizens of this country and future generations.
Before challenging the background of people that try to make the public aware of things - look in the mirror!
Pine River
Comment by Walter Fricke on 20th July 2010
The Pine River is located in the Pine Pass of the B.C. Rocky Mountains. The pipeline break was a very publicized disaster that forced the town of Chetwynd B.C. to have it's potable water trucked in from over 100kms. away. It also prevented avid anglers from fishing in the Pine River. Remember, that was only a 12 inch pipeline moving light sweet crude. This Enbridge proposal is for a 36 inch pipeline and a 20 inch condensate line. Doing the math, a 36 inch line will carry 10 times the volume of a 12 inch line. The condensate, which makes the tarry bitumen more fluid, is also extremely carcinogenic. I'm sorry for making assumptions about you having shares in Enbridge, but all your comments regarding this proposed project are absolutely in favour of this pipeline and port facility. One thing I am sure of is there will be spills and leaks. The magnitude of these if this project is allowed to go ahead, remains to be seen. If man builds it, it will eventually fail.
Comment by James Ippel on 19th July 2010
First. let me assure you that I have no shares in Enbridge, and I have n0 immediate plans to buy any (but that can change).
As for Barrys comment to go to a particular website, I don't do this. My immediate reaction to this is a website with a biased opinion, and questionable facts.
To Dave, this Marine Engineer with impecable credentials, and the President of the Merchant Service Guild of Canada got his credentials where???? Possibly navigating a tug up and down the Fraser in the Lower Mainland. Before I will accept this mans credentials, I want more information, and if I am wrong, I will be more than willing to render an apology,,,, but come up with hard & fast facts.
A further note to Walter, please enlighten me as to the location of the Pine River. I honestly try to keep up on current affairs, but I guess the spill on this particular river did one of two things; I missed it, or it was so minuscule that it was not newsworthy. Please enlighten me.
Re: Sour Grapes
Comment by Dave Brocklebank on 19th July 2010
If you go to the Tyee site and read the article (The Tyee is a newspaper not a river or lake or district) you will read that the man you question as having sour grapes is indeed a marine engineer with 30 years experience and is also the President of the Merchant Service Guild of Canada (a full time job so no sour grapes).
To Jim
Comment by Barry English on 17th July 2010
Jim, The Tyee is an on-line news source that you should check out. Go to . You might be surprised at what you can read and comment on there.
Comment by Walter Fricke on 17th July 2010
Reading Mr. Ippel's comments over the last few months, I have to wonder if he doesn't have shares in Enbridge. I sure don't see the picture he paints as rosy. I for one had to quit fishing in a beautiful river because of an oil spill. August 01/2002, Pine River B.C. That one was only 1 million litres of sweet crude from a 12 inch line.
I don't trust the technology that much to put my support behind a plan with as many holes in it as the "Enbridge Northern Gateway Proposal"
Take warning
Comment by Dave Brocklebank on 16th July 2010
People should read the link to the Tyee.
As a marine engineer I wholeheartedly agree with McTavish. With just barges in a tidal current I've had to scramble very quickly when there were mechanical problems and get them corrected very fast or they/we end up on the beach.
Will this "loophole"' apply in the Douglas Channel?
By the sounds of the Tyee article - you betcha!!
Sour Grapes?
Comment by James Ippel on 16th July 2010
Sounds to me like this man may have been relieved of his duties, and is now trying to ingratiate himself with the envir /eco terrorists and make a name for himself.

Having said that, if indeed he is right, we should all get on the Bandwagon, contact our MLA, MP, and anyone we can think of in authority, and have them hold Transport Canada accountable.
I have no knowledge of "The Tyee News Online", and do not know where it originates. Mr MacTavish portrays himself as a chief engineer with 30 years experience, yet when I hear "Tyee", I imediateley think of the Lakes District in BC. Does this man have 30 years experience on Francois Lake, or does he have 30 years of experience traversing coastal waters? Ifind is difficult accepting any statements from an inland waterways engineer commenting on coastal waterways.

The link is provided for full information on the Tyee