ARCHIVED - Minister Michelle Rempel Highlights Importance of Safe and Responsible Resource Development

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July 24, 2013

CALGARY — The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification) today delivered a keynote speech on behalf of the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, at the Oil Sands and Heavy Oil Technologies 2013 conference. During her address, Minister Rempel highlighted the Government’s plans for the responsible development of Canada’s oil sands and the commitment to move this strategic resource to new markets to the benefit of all Canadians.

“The oil sands are one of the world’s biggest innovation projects and our government is working hard to make important scientific contributions to help reduce potential environmental impacts from the development of this key resource,” said Minister Rempel. “Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance is also a powerful demonstration of the collective will to develop the oil sands sustainably. To date, COSIA member companies have shared 446 distinct technologies and innovations that cost over $700 million to develop.”

In 2012, the Government of Canada and Alberta established a joint oil sands monitoring program. The program takes unprecedented steps to enhance the monitoring of air, land, water and biodiversity. The program improves the ability to detect changes in the environment and manage cumulative impacts.

Last month, the Government of Canada announced its intention to strengthen pipeline safety by enshrining the principle of ‘polluter pays’ in law and proposing regulations that will require companies operating major crude oil pipelines to have a minimum of $1 billion in financial capacity. Earlier this year, the Government announced a world class marine safety package including eight new tanker safety measures, the Safeguarding Canada's Seas and Skies Act and a Tanker Safety Expert Panel. Taken together these initiatives strengthen and ensure the appropriate response in the unlikely event of a spill.

“By continuing to ensure responsible resource development and protection of the environment, we will help ensure Canadians across the country benefit from the economic contribution of the oil sands,” said Minister Rempel. “The Government of Canada is committed to the continuous improvement of our regulatory and safety regimes to ensure protection of the environment and citizens come first.”

For additional information on pipeline safety, please visit Natural Resources Canada’s website: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/node/13751.

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