Columnist off base on harbour oil spill

Some details missing in Tom Fletcher's account of situation in Vancouver

Re: Coast Guard hysteria sinks lower (B.C. Views, April 29)

Tom Fletcher ends his column warning that during an election year, “realism might be in short supply.” One might make the same conclusion about his statements regarding the Vancouver harbour oil spill and the response.

Fletcher falls into the trap of referring to the closing of the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station as being, after all, only a search and rescue operation, unable to respond to any spill. Actually, several years prior to its closure, the oil response vessel had been put up on blocks and the response crew stood down or reassigned. Response potential had been reduced in the effort to save dollars over intelligent response capability.

As is so often with Fletcher’s prose, between pitching softball questions to politicians and gliding over what should be well-researched journalism, we are confronted with a column that lacks credibility on all fronts.

Michael Richardson

Victoria