Michael marking anniversary with call for action
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) says the 30th anniversary of the Ocean Ranger tragedy on February 15 would be the ideal time for government to seriously pressure Ottawa to create an independent offshore safety authority.
“I worked with the Ocean Ranger Families Foundation in the aftermath of that terrible disaster,” Michael said today. “I know the devastation people felt, and their sense of disbelief that the workers were so badly protected.
“I have to say that I do not believe we have made anywhere near the progress we should have made in 30 years, and both levels of government should be ashamed of that.”
The Wells review into offshore helicopter safety released in 2010 recommended the creation of a new “powerful” independent offshore safety authority, which has not yet been done, Michael noted. She added that other countries with offshore oil industries have long adopted the practice of independent offshore safety authorities as the best way to ensure the safety of both workers and the environment.
“We have paid a terrible price for the oil wealth so many enjoy today,” said Michael. “Our duty to those who work offshore is to ensure their safety is paramount.
“Why isn’t this government putting more pressure on their federal counterparts to act?” she added. “The evidence is clear, the need is dire and we owe this to the people who work offshore and their families.”