Senators reject chance to immediately kill tanker ban but bill not safe yet

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OTTAWA — The Senate has rejected a committee report that recommended scrapping the Trudeau government’s bill to ban oil tanker traffic in the environmentally sensitive waters off northern British Columbia.

But that’s not a guarantee the bill will survive.

A number of Independent senators are opposed to the bill but nevertheless voted against the Conservative-written report of the Senate’s transportation and communications committee because they felt it was too partisan and inflammatory.

They also want a chance to propose amendments to the bill.

The report asserted that the bill is politically motivated and will divide the country, inflame separatist sentiment in Alberta and stoke resentment of Indigenous Peoples; it also accused the Trudeau government of intentionally setting out to destroy the economy of Alberta, where the Liberals have little hope of winning seats in this fall’s federal election.

Had senators voted to accept the committee report, the bill would have been killed immediately; rejecting the report means the bill will proceed to third reading in the Senate, during which amendments can be proposed.