Super tankers on the St. Lawrence, OK but!

Super tankers on the St. Lawrence, OK but!

With all the talk of transporting oil by whatever means, pipeline, super-tanker or train, the people of the south shore of the St. Lawrence River are divided when it comes to the talk of super-tankers sailing past their towns. Some towns like Matane are open to the idea and others like Cacouna are skeptical and hold demonstrations on a regular basis against the tankers and their potential for oil spills.

The subject came up again in Notre-Dame du Lac this week when the Premier, Philippe Couillard, was in town for a different occasion and was questioned about the future use of super-tankers in the region. His government is behind the project, and to make it a bit more acceptable he suggested that there should probably be a special dry-dock able to accommodate the long boats, along the banks of the river somewhere up the coast in case one of them has technical or mechanical problems.

The idea is to be able to make the necessary repairs without the boat having to be towed or carry on to Halifax where there is already a dry-dock facility, which of course could increase the possibility of a spill.

The possibility of having a super dry-dock in your town would be a boom to the area, creating jobs, and revenue and it looks like the mayor of Matane is gung-ho on the idea.

Other areas are concerned about the environment as is Matane but, Couillard has repeated over and over again that all the normal precautions, like everywhere else in the world, would be taken and respected to insure that the risk of a spill is limited.

He reiterated that having a dry dock close by would help eliminate any unnecessary travelling by a ship in distress.

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