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Politics Trudeau promises to safeguard northern B.C. coast from pipelines

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau makes an announcement in downtown Vancouver, B.C., on Sept. 10, 2015.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The federal Liberals are promising a moratorium on oil tanker traffic along the northern coast of British Columbia.

The move would effectively kill any pipeline projects through the area — including the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau opposes — and make official a non-binding motion the House of Commons passed in 2010.

The Liberal pledge would put Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound off limits to tanker traffic as part of the party's push to protect ecologically sensitive areas.

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The move puts the Liberals at odds with the Conservatives who favour a pipeline to the West Coast to move Alberta oil overseas to Asia-Pacific markets.

Trudeau made the announcement in Vancouver on Thursday as he unveiled a party plan to protect Canada's oceans that included a pledge to reinstate $40 million cut from the ocean science and monitoring program at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

The plan would also expand protected marine and coastal areas.

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