B.C. First Nation angered by federal minister's response to downed tug

Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBLanc pictured during a press conference on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. Photo by The Canadian Press.

Members of a First Nation on British Columbia's central coast say they're angered and dismayed by a federal minister's response to a fuel spill in the area.

Fisheries and Oceans minister Dominic LeBlanc has issued a statement saying crews have finished pumping oil from a sunken tug boat near Bella Bella, B.C., and are now turning their attention to removing the Nathan E. Stewart from the waters.

The statement says environmental monitoring and shoreline cleanup are also underway.

But Marilyn Slett, chief of the Heiltsuk Nation, says in a release that there is an extensive amount of work to be done, and it's still unclear what environmental impact the fuel spill has had on the area.

Slett says the minister needs to come to Bella Bella to see the situation first hand.

The tug had more than 200,000 litres of diesel on board when it ran aground and sank on Oct. 13, and representatives say about 110,000 litres of an oil-water mixture have been recovered.

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