Posted by: Vicki Burns | November 30, 2010

Is Canada Prepared for Oil Spills ? Internal Audit Says No – Our Waters Not Well Protected

image of turtle's head covered in oil

Sea Turtle covered in oil

Several months ago I posted a blog during the height of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. At the time, I along with many other Canadians, wondered if we were any better equipped to handle an oil spill such as what we saw happening to the south of us.
 I wrote to Member of Parliament, Randy Kamp, who was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. He responded by saying “Natural Resources Canada is responsible for ensuring oil drilling platforms have appropriate response plans, and I can assure you that our Government has effective response mechanisms and safeguards in place in the unlikely and unfortunate event of a spill. The Canadian Coast Guard and other government agencies are well equipped to deal with any environmental event in our waters.”
Today, I read in the news that this is simply not so. An internal government audit states that the Canadian Coast Guard lacks the training, equipment and management systems to fulfill its duties to respond to offshore pollution incidents such as oil spills. The audit went on to conclude that “assurance cannot be given that the conditions exist to enable (environmental–response) services to be provided in a national consistent manner”.
I hope that this audit will help to alert the government that we need to put the brakes on any new deep sea oil drilling until we can make sure our Coast guard and other government agencies have the proper training, planning and equipment in place. The risks are just too high to ignore this warning.



  1. It doesn’t supprise me at all. Few government officials really know what is going on, especially with Harper at the top ! Watch all the nodding puppets behind him in the House of Commons,they just do what their strings allow them to do.
    Sorry I know this isnt a political arena, but when are Canadians going to get their act together and vote someone decent in so that we can progress on enviomental action.

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