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VANCOUVER — The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, today delivered a speech highlighting Canada’s strong marine and pipeline safety regime. The Minister delivered the remarks while visiting Port Metro Vancouver, respected worldwide for conducting shipping operations in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner.
“In the last five years more than 1,300 tankers have moved through Port Metro Vancouver, representing billions of dollars in economic activity,” said Minister Oliver. “With this impressive volume of traffic, our safety record is exemplary. This is due, in great part, to the practices employed by Port Metro Vancouver. It also a testament to the robustness of Canada's marine transportation safety regime.”
The federal government has instituted strict rules and regulations to ensure safe marine transportation within Canadian waters. Measures such as Canada's Mandatory Pilotage Zones require that highly-trained mariners with extensive knowledge of local waterways guide large commercial vessels safely to their destination.
Similar rigour is applied to pipeline safety onshore. The National Energy Board, Canada’s expert arms-length regulator, reviews and audits company pipeline safety programs, conducts pipeline inspections and can order companies to implement measures to improve the safe operation of pipelines.
“No matter how great our government’s determination to increase prosperity, the health and safety of Canadians and the protection of the environment remain key priorities,” said the Minister. “Quite simply, development will not proceed unless it can be done safely and responsibly.”
The Harper Government’s plan for Responsible Resource Development further supports marine and pipeline safety. The plan includes funding for measures to strengthen Canada’s tanker safety regime, including double hulled tankers, and improved navigation tools that assist ships moving through our waters.
The plan also strengthens pipeline safety by increasing the number of oil and gas pipeline inspections by 50 percent annually and doubling the number of annual audits to identify potential issues and prevent incidents from occurring. In addition, the plan has also introduced new fines for companies that break environmental laws.
The Harper Government’s plan for Responsible Resource Development will allow Canada to capitalize on the global demand for resources while strengthening our environmental and safety regimes.
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