In the Chamber -- Grant Mitchell's Blog

Oil Spill Response

Posted 5/17/2012 by Grant Mitchell

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I don't know whether it has dawned on the Conservatives that one of the biggest obstacles to the Northern Gateway pipeline is peoples' concern with oil spills. So, you might think the Conservatives would want to demonstrate to those concerned that they were taking the problem seriously. But, not so - in a move that is breathtakingly counter-intuitive they are closing the Vancouver and almost every other Environmental Emergency Program office across the country and consolidating to two, both in Quebec.

The Environmental Emergency Program is responsible for directing and coordinating responses to major environmental emergencies. If the Gulf spill had been in Canada, they would have led the response. If a ship were to spill off Kitimat, they should be in a position to lead the response; only, they will be thousands of miles away in Quebec.

Why would anyone think that this government cares even remotely about their concerns when they move the people who would deal with spills thousands of miles away? This move does not make critics more likely to accept a pipeline. This seems tantamount to thumbing their nose at these people and their concerns. Maybe they know they can do this with impunity because they are changing the environmental review process in such a way that they will be able to force the decision regardless of what people say or think.

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