New legislation introduced by the federal government will bar most oil tankers from operating along the North coast.
Transportation Minister Marc Garneau has introduced the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act in the House of Commons.
It will ban tankers carrying crude oil and persistent oils from stopping from the northern tip of Vancouver Island all the way to the B.C.-Alaska border, including Haida Gwaii.
Tankers carrying less than 12,500 metric tonnes of oil are exempt, to ensure northern communities can continue to receive shipments of necessary fuels.
The Heiltsuk Nation is welcoming the ban, after a tug and barge went aground last fall.
The spill saw 110,000 litres of diesel and other lubricants released into the Seaforth Channel.
Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett says the sinking of the Nathan E. Stewart highlighted the importance of improving marine safety.
Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen says it’s a good first step, and looks forward to reading the bill in more detail.
Penalties for defying the ban are as high as $5-million.