Pipeline safety advocates say they’re shut out

EDMONTON — Groups that pushed for a review of pipeline safety in Alberta say Premier Alison Redford’s government is shutting them out.

EDMONTON — Groups that pushed for a review of pipeline safety in Alberta say Premier Alison Redford’s government is shutting them out.

“I find it pretty disappointing that the Alberta government can find time to meet with the oil industry but not any of the 54 groups that demanded this review,” Don Bester, president of the Alberta Surface Rights Group, said Wednesday.

Last month, the province said an independent audit is to focus on how pipeline safety is managed. It is also to look at the safety of pipelines that cross waterways and how the province responds to spills.

The review was announced following three pipeline-related oil spills in the province.

Redford’s office said the premier has received a letter from the groups, but no decisions on a meeting would be made until the fall.

The organizations, including Greenpeace Canada and the Council of Canadians, say the scope of the review is too narrow.

They are also concerned that the Energy Resources Conservation Board will be involved in the process.

Mike Hudema said the board, with its mandate to regulate the development of Alberta’s energy resources, is too close to the government and is mistrusted by some people in rural areas.

He said there are also concerns about the board’s ability to adequately inspect and monitor pipelines and ensure spills are properly cleaned up.

“Albertans need and deserve an independent, thorough pipeline review that provides information and answers that we can rely on and trust,” Hudema said.

The groups include public sector unions, First Nations and public health organizations.

A spokesman for Energy Minister Ken Hughes said he has received the group’s request for a meeting, but nothing has been scheduled.

Bester said they need to be heard.

“Shouldn’t people have more of a say than oil executives?” he asked.

“This review should be about protecting our communities and the environment, not a public relations exercise to greenwash the oil industry.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dashcam captures hair-raising near miss on Highway 2

Paramedic says his emergency driving training kicked in to avoid collision

Updated: Red Deer mourns loss of philanthropist Gary W. Harris

Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre stands as lasting legacy to businessman’s generosity

Skip The Dishes launches alcohol delivery in 3 Alberta cities

Some Alberta residents can now get their beer and wine delivered through… Continue reading

UPDATE: Road clear following three-vehicle collision near Sylvan Lake

Police say there was a “serious collision” near Sylvan Lake Wednesday afternoon.… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

David Marsden: Hospital unfairness makes me ill

The provincial government clearly isn’t without money. If it was, it wouldn’t… Continue reading

Pastrnak scores overtime winner, Bruins edge Oilers 2-1

Bruins 2 Oilers 1 (OT) EDMONTON — The Boston Bruins have proven… Continue reading

P.E.I.’s Birt through to championship round at Tournament of Hearts

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — Suzanne Birt reached the championship round at the… Continue reading

Teachers focusing on innovations at Red Deer convention

More than 1,750 delegates are attending the Central Alberta Teachers’ Convention. The… Continue reading

Passengers leave ship docked off Japan after quarantine ends

YOKOHAMA, Japan — About 500 passengers left the cruise ship Diamond Princess… Continue reading

Quebec premier calls for federal ultimatum to end rail blockades within days

OTTAWA — Quebec’s premier says he wants Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to… Continue reading

Canada’s laws don’t apply to chiefs who oppose pipeline

Re: “Blame the chaos on Trudeau,” David Marsden, Opinion, Feb. 15. I… Continue reading

Most Read