Nathan asks why Minister won’t review rules for risky oil and gas projects
November 4th, 2010 - 11:25am
Nathan asked the Minister of Natural Resources about his duty to follow the will of the House of Commons which voted last spring for a complete review of all laws and regulations relating to unconventional oil and gas development including shale gas, tar sands, and offshore drilling. The Government has been avoiding its responsibility even though it voted in favour of the motion. The following question arose from committee hearings where the head of the National Energy Board confirmed that no review of the scope required is being done in spite of what the Minister has previously said. The Minister once again avoided the question
Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley, NDP): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Environment.
Last spring this House voted unanimously for a complete review of Canada’s rules and regulations around risky oil and gas projects. Since then the Minister of Natural Resources has continually passed the buck to the National Energy Board. But on Tuesday the head of the NEB directly contradicted the minister, saying it is not responsible for this review and does not even have the mandate to do so.
I understand the minister is living under a cloud of controversy, but will he finally take responsibility, quit passing the buck and do his job?
Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources: Mr. Speaker, what the member is saying is completely false. First, last May, the National Energy Board was proactive following the incidents in the Gulf of Mexico. It began a review of regulations concerning offshore drilling in the Arctic to better understand what happened in the Gulf of Mexico, draw conclusions and improve our regulations.
This is just the member from Skeena—Bulkley Valley trying, yet again, to discredit the National Energy Board, which has 50 unblemished years of experience in this area. This is shameful