NDP calls for independent offshore safety and environmental authority

The NDP Caucus is seeking answers following the largest offshore oil spill in our province’s history. On Friday, Husky Energy reported a spill of 250,000 litres at its SeaRose FPSO with possibly more continuing to leak.

Today in Question Period, NDP Leader Gerry Rogers said details about the cause and full extent of damage are still not available, and we have to rely on information provided by the company itself.

Rogers says Australia and Norway know self-regulation by industry does not work. “Surely the Premier knows that too,” Rogers said. “I ask the Premier, how much more will it take before he acts to establish an independent offshore safety and environmental authority?

Rogers says first a near-miss iceberg incident on Husky Energy's SeaRose FPSO last spring, and now, during the worst storm since the 1982 Ocean Ranger disaster, Husky discovers the largest spill in our history when attempting to resume pumping in dangerous conditions. These incidents call into question if Husky’s bottom line is more important to them than worker safety and environmental protection, Rogers says.

“Will the Premier begin negotiations with his federal counterparts to create an independent offshore safety and environmental authority with the power to ensure oil companies place environmental and worker safety above profits?” Rogers asked.

NDP House Leader Lorraine Michael says the NDP has been repeatedly calling for an independent offshore safety and environmental authority, similar to agencies found in Norway and Australia, since 2010. It is the only recommendation from Justice Robert Wells’ offshore helicopter safety inquiry that has not been implemented.

“I ask the Premier, why does he continue to listen to the oil industry and not the experts on safety and environmental protection?” Michael said.

Michael also asked the Premier if he would immediately work with his federal counterparts to direct the CNLOPB to tighten regulations regarding operations under potentially dangerous conditions.

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For futher information, contact Zaren Healey White, Director of Communications, 729-2137 (o) or 693-9172 (c).

Associated Caucus Members: 

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