VANCOUVER, Sept. 5, 2017 /CNW/ – A strong regulatory and safety regime for pipelines is vital to the public’s confidence in pipeline projects and Canada’s ability to sustainably move our energy resources to domestic and global markets.
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr, said in Vancouver today that Canadians need to have confidence our natural resources, including oil and gas, are being developed and transported in a way that does not compromise the safety and health of our communities or our rich natural environment.
The Minister made his comments following a tour of the Pipeline Integrity Institute at the University of British Columbia, where he referenced key aspects of the Pipeline Safety Act, which came into force last year.
The Act means Canada will maintain the highest safety standards for federally regulated pipelines and protect the health of Canadians, our environment and the economy. The Act enshrines the polluter pays principle into law, which includes unlimited liability for companies operating major oil pipelines regardless of fault, and requires them to have the financial resources available to respond to potential incidents. That means companies — and not Canadians — are responsible if an incident occurs.
The Minister underscored that pipelines are a safe, efficient and reliable way to move Canadian energy to consumers. The Act furthers Canada’s ability to access and export its resources safely by ensuring that pipelines undergo robust environmental and regulatory reviews and have strong safety and life-cycle management regulations in place.
Minister Carr said the Government of Canada is working to build public confidence on a number of fronts, for example, by continuing to improve how the federal government reviews, approves and regulates major resource projects.
The $1.5-billion national Oceans Protection Plan is another example of safeguarding our coasts in a modern and advanced way that ensures environmental sustainability, safe and responsible commercial use, and collaboration with coastal and Indigenous communities.
Minister Carr also met with members of the newly established Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee (IAMC). Co-developed through a partnership between Indigenous and federal representatives, the committee is working to advance shared goals of safety and protecting the environment and Indigenous interests by monitoring the Trans Mountain Expansion Project during construction, operation and decommissioning, including by having Indigenous monitors accompany National Energy Board inspectors as they oversee work on the Project. The Government of Canada has committed up to $64.7 million over five years to support this initiative.