Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Liabilty cap for NL's offshore falls far short of United States; we don't deserve less

I posed the following questions in the House of Commons on Monday, Sept. 15, in relation to Bill C-22, the energy safety and security act. New Democrats supported the bill at second reading, but were against it at third reading because government ignored proposed amendments.

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Hamilton Mountain for the way she summarized the shortfalls in the legislation. She was very thorough and she was eloquent in her speech as well.
I have also spoken on the legislation, and some of the immediate weaknesses in the legislation in terms of the absolute liability is the fact that it is not enough.

As the hon. member pointed out, there will be an increase in absolute liability from $30 million to $1 billion. That is a substantial increase, but when we compare it to other jurisdictions, as the hon. member pointed out, like the United States, for example, which has an absolute liability of $12.6 billion and where the case of the Deepwater Horizon, the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico, has a total cleanup bill so far of $42 billion and rising, we can see that the $1 billion this legislation points out is not enough.

I have two questions for the hon. member for Hamilton Mountain. First, do we deserve any less in terms of absolute liability than the United States?
The second question is whether or not the increased liability could enhance the prevention of nuclear accidents or offshore oil and gas accidents.

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