From oil spills to zebra and quagga mussels, Sask. Party policies fail to protect Saskatchewan

The Husky oil spill has highlighted the Sask. Party’s inability or unwillingness to properly regulate and inspect pipelines throughout the province.

“We have seen with the Husky oil spill that self-regulation, along with a lack of proper inspections, is doing nothing to prevent spills from occurring,” said Environment Critic Cathy Sproule. “This government needs to do a much better job of getting in front of the issue before it’s too late.”

According to government documents, out of 102,400 kilometres of pipeline in Saskatchewan, only 78 pipeline inspections were conducted in 2015-16. That works out to one inspection for approximately every 1,313 kilometres of pipeline. During the same year, over 2,000 inspections were performed by the Alberta government.

“With a record like that, it’s no wonder the Premier and the government has been so quiet on this issue,” Sproule said.

She added that the Husky oil spill isn’t the only case where government has the wrong approach to protecting the environment.

While the government brags about new highway signs, the statistics show that the Sask. Party is failing miserably when it comes protecting the Saskatchewan environment from invasive species.

At this time last year, Alberta had completed 12,200 inspections, while by September of last year, Manitoba had inspected 3,764 boats. According to a Freedom of Information Request obtained by the Saskatchewan NDP, so far this year, the Sask. Party government has only performed 507 inspections.

Sproule said that simply putting up signs won’t fix the problem.

“This government and Environment Minister love talking a big game when it comes to zebra and quagga mussels – in fact, that’s all they talk about when it comes to protecting the water we drink or spend time in in the summer,” said Sproule. “Time and time again we have seen the government fail to properly plan or create a sustainable and healthy future for the people of the province, but to see them fail on this front is both disappointing and discouraging.”