Marine fuel will still be available in Queen Charlotte

  • Mar. 28, 2003 3:00 p.m.

Marine fuel will continue to be available in Skidegate Inlet despite the Skidegate Landing marine fuel dock closure, says fuel supplier Matt Ravlic.
“I, as a fuel provider, guarantee fuel will be supplied to the marine community,” said Mr. Ravlic, Imperial Oil agent and Fast Fuel Services owner.
Boaters will use the same procedure as they have previously, Mr. Ravlic said. They can call Fast Fuels on radiophone channel 6 or on the landline at 559-4611, and Fast Fuels will deliver the fuel.
Fuel is now delivered at Skidegate Landing from tanks on shore. After the fuel dock closes May 15, Mr. Ravlic said, the fuel will be delivered from a tanker truck at a location to be decided. In the long term, he said, one option would be to open fuel tanks in Queen Charlotte.
Jack Armstrong of Codfather Contracting said using a tanker truck to supply marine fuel would be “adequate temporarily”, but the best solution would be to leave the fuel dock where it is.
“The only ones with a problem are Imperial Esso, who are leasing the foreshore rights from the government. Someone should get the government to intervene,” Mr. Armstrong said. For years oil companies have gotten subsidies and tax breaks from government, he said: “Now we need a break.”
Fisherman Lindsey Doerkson said “There’s not a hope in hell of a new dock being built. Fuel tankers will still be coming into that [Skidegate Landing] dock. Where else are they going to go? Everyone on the islands depends on that fuel supply. I’m skeptical about the whole thingÂ…. We’ve got an existing facility that has served the islands all these years. I think Imperial Oil is just trying to divest themselves of the least lucrative parts of their operation.”
“They’ve got us over a barrel,” Mr. Doerkson continued. “There’s a fleet here that depends on that fuel. I wonder where the Coast Guard and fisheries boats will go? Sandspit I suppose, but I don’t know if Sandspit has the capacity to service big boats. Anyway, the boats that need the fuel are here not in Sandspit. Just look at the docks and see where the boats are tied up.”