VANCOUVER – Jim Carr, Canada’s minister of natural resources, affirmed the country’s commitment to pipeline safety during a visit to the Pipeline Integrity Institute at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver recently.
"The Government of Canada is determined to improve the environmental safety of pipelines for the benefit of all Canadians," said Carr in a press release. "We believe strongly in our responsibility to ensure that our natural resources can move to market sustainably while we continue to protect the environment for future generations."
Carr also referenced key aspects of the Pipeline Safety Act, which came into force last year. The act formalizes 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.
Carr added that the act also ensures that pipelines undergo robust environmental and regulatory reviews and have strong safety and life cycle management regulations in place.
He cited $1.5-billion national Oceans Protection Plan as an example of safeguarding the country’s coasts in a way that ensures environmental sustainability, safe and responsible commercial use and collaboration with coastal and indigenous communities.
During his visit, Carr met with members of the newly established Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee.
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 having indigenous monitors accompany National Energy Board inspectors as they oversee work on the project, the statement reads.
The federal government has committed up to $64.7 million over five years to support this initiative.