Michael raises concerns about deepwater drilling

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael

In the House of Assembly today NDP leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) referenced several reports when questioning the government about offshore oil development.

Michael stated that it has been over a year since Captain Mark Turner submitted his report on the province’s oil spill prevention and response capabilities. The report contained 25 recommendations for improvement.

“Can the premier give this House an update on what the CNLOPB has done to implement these recommendations?” asked Michael.

Last year people in the province were shocked to learn from Captain Turner’s report that there was no plan in place to deal with a deep water blow out, especially in light of the 2010 disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Mr. Speaker, I ask the premier, have preparations been put in place to foster the prevention of and ― in the worst case scenario ― deal with, deep water blowouts and related environmental disasters?” asked Michael.

Michael also raised one of the key recommendations made by Justice Wells in his inquiry into the tragic crash of Cougar Flight 491, the implementation of an independent offshore safety authority.

To date, this recommendation remains unfulfilled.

“In the event the premier does get a meeting with the prime minister, how high a priority is this issue on her agenda?” asked Michael.

Michael finally noted that one of the NDP’s key criticisms of the report on the province’s offshore spill prevention and response capabilities was it did not speak with any of the province’s most prominent environmentalists or seabird experts. Their concerns are not included in this report.

“Mr. Speaker, what has the CNLOPB done since the release of the report to correct this serious oversight?” asked Michael.

READ THE FULL EXCHANGE FROM QUESTION PERIOD

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