IN THE HOUSE ~ Question ~ Oil spills in Canada

41st Parliament, 1st Session ~ Context : Question

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the truth is the last month has seen many major oil spills in Canada: a quarter of a million litre oil spill near Elk Point; a half million litre spill into the Red Deer River threatening the water supply; and nearly a million litres in northern Alberta. The Conservatives response has been to cut corners on reviewing the northern gateway pipeline.

    Now B.C.'ers and all Canadians want strong rules that protect public health and the environment and the NDP agrees with them.

    Will the Conservatives now listen to reason, listen to Canadians, and stop gutting environmental protection rules?

    L'hon. Joe Oliver (ministre des Ressources naturelles, PCC): Monsieur le Président, en ce qui concerne Elk Point, ce pipeline relève de compétence provinciale. La technologie ne cesse de s'améliorer rendant le transport par pipeline plus sécuritaire. En outre, notre gouvernement prend des mesures concrètes pour améliorer la sécurité des oléoducs. Nous doublons le nombre de vérifications, augmentons le nombre d'inspections annuelles de 50 %, imposons des sanctions à ceux qui enfreignent nos lois, des mesures auxquelles se sont opposés les partis de l'opposition.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, what the Conservatives have actually done is given cabinet special powers, allowing Conservative politicians to override experts and scientists. There is a word for this, it is wrong.

    Les conservateurs ne passent pas seulement la scie à chaîne dans les évaluations, ils sabordent tout le processus. Plus de la moitié des compagnies de pipeline inspectées par l'Office national de l'énergie n'ont pas de mécanismes de sécurité adéquates en place.

    Au NPD, on croit que les familles canadiennes méritent mieux que ça.

     Pourquoi le gouvernement met-il en danger la santé et la sécurité de la population? Pourquoi ces actions irresponsables?

    Hon. Joe Oliver (Minister of Natural Resources, CPC): Mr. Speaker, as I said, we have increased environmental protection many times. We are putting in over $165 million to improve maritime protection and pipeline protection.

    Pipeline technology has improved over the last 50 years, increased sophistication of leak detection systems, pipeline inspection technology, improvements in pipeline coating technologies. Manufacturing quality control has improved pipeline quality.

    In addition to that, we are continuing to focus on protection of the environment. No project will go ahead unless it is safe for Canadians--