Osgoode Hall Law Journal

Document Type



A series of dramatic oil spills in recent years has once again drawn critical attention to the nature and adequacy of existing domestic and international legislation regarding ship source oil pollution. Predictably, legislators and policy makers have responded with a plethora of studies, reviews, and consultations. However, past improvements to the domestic and international regimes have traditionally been slow and incremental, at best. In Canada, approximately three years have passed since the Nestucca spill took place off the B.C. coast. Yet, while there has been much discussion, domestic legislation remains virtually unaltered at the present time. The authors find that the status quo must be changed substantially, in order for real and significant improvement in marine environmental protection to be achieved. Mere "tinkering" with the existing regime has proved to be largely ineffective.