Safety must be first consideration for offshore helicopter flights: Michael

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) wants government to support her call for increased safety for workers who commute via helicopter to their offshore jobs.

“Expert testimony at the 2010 offshore helicopter safety inquiry stated the survival rate for a nighttime helicopter crash offshore is 30 per cent, as opposed to 70 per cent in daylight,” Michael said in the House of Assembly today. “Inquiry Commissioner Wells noted asking workers to fly at night is asking them to take on more risk.

“I ask the Premier, will she stand with us in opposing any return to regularly scheduled night flying in the offshore?”

Michael also reminded the House of another of Commissioner Wells’s recommendations.

“Commissioner Wells also suggested adding a helicopter for the four winter months when the pressure to fly offshore at night is more acute,” she said. “I ask the Premier, will she join with me in demanding that offshore oil companies provide the extra helicopter for the winter months?”

Michael also continued her line of questioning from yesterday on Muskrat Falls. She wants to know the implications to the federal loan guarantee of a prolonged Nova Scotian utility board review of the project, pointing out that “Nova Scotia’s energy minister says there is no rush for a utility board decision on Nalcor and Emera’s latest deal on the Maritime Link though Section 17 of that deal states ‘Time shall be of the essence.’”

Associated Caucus Members: 

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