A Senate committee recommended that the federal government not proceed with the C-48 bill, which would prohibit oil tankers from docking along the northern coast of B.C.
But the vote on Wednesday 6-6 by the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications does not mean that the bill will necessarily be made, as it will return to the courtroom for further debate.
According to the rules of the Senate committee, a parity vote is the same as a contrary vote, since it needs a clear majority of support to proceed.
The five conservative commission senators voted against, supported by independent Alberta Paula Simons. Five other independents and a self-identified liberal voted in favor.
Simons launched the decisive vote against the change or the progress of the bill. He said he felt his duty as a senator from Alberta to vote against in his current form.
"I'm very aware of how extraordinarily beautiful and sensitive that particular ecosystem is and I really want to see it protected, but Bill C-48 wouldn't have given that strip of land and sea to the protection it rightly deserved," he said.
"And at the same time, it would have harmed Alberta's energy industry so severely that, in good conscience as a senator from Alberta, I could not vote in favor of the unmodified bill."
Simons, who sits as an independent senator, voted in line with conservative senators against the bill.
"I didn't do these things to make conservatives happy," he said. "I am an independent non-partisan who acted in what I felt was the best interest of my province"
I examined the facts and the evidence. I weighed all the passionate and well-informed testimonies. I have been agonizing for days. And finally, I voted my conscience, knowing that I would not have liked my critics, at the two ends of the debate.
Doug Black of Alberta Sen said that if the bill were to pass, it would be the only oil tanker ban in the world.
"Through testimony it became clearer day after day that, in reality, the government is pursuing this prohibition of oil tankers because the prime minister made a political commitment in the last campaign: no research, no development, no investment, no meaningful consultation with the First Nations, "he said.
The Alberta premier praised the decision on social media.
"This is a victory for common sense and economic growth," Alberta Premier Jason Kenney tweeted shortly after Wednesday night's decision.
"Thanks to the senators for having listened to the Albertani and having respected the equity in our federation".
The C-48 law would prohibit oil tankers from transporting more than 12,500 tons of oil from the berth along an area extending from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the border with Alaska, which it would eliminate projects like the now defunct Northern Gateway or indigenous Condotte Eagle Spirit.
His initial transition to the House of Commons was celebrated by environmentalists, who said he would help keep the coast and its diverse fishing industry safe from spills.
But it was criticized by the industry, the First Nations and the provincial leaders, who feared that it could critically damage Canada's oil exports.
Former premier Rachel Notley called the policy a "fugitive fugitive" for unfairly targeting Alberta.
"The imperfect legislation completely ignored the decades of safe shipping in the waters off the northwest coast and was not even a real ban, as it exempted large oil tankers [liquefied natural gas]," said Irfan Sabir, critic on the energy of the NDP. decision.
Simons stated that the committee's decision to recommend proceeding with a bill is unusual.
"What happened tonight was very rare, it is not unprecedented, but it is a very unusual situation in which the committee, due to my vote in the end, voted not to recommend the Senate bill," he said. .
"So the Senate can accept our relationship and not proceed with the account, or, more likely, the Senate will return the bill."
Simons said that if this happened, he would push to move more amendments, including those that would respect the wishes of the local First Nations and create exit points for Alberta's oil to reach the coast.
Probably the Senate will discuss whether to accept the commission's report in the coming weeks.