Oil Spill and Keystone approval highlight Sask. Party pipeline failures

The Saskatchewan NDP welcomes the Presidential approval of the Keystone Pipeline. The announcement comes just a day after it was revealed the Sask. Party, once again, kept the public in the dark about another oil spill. These two events underscore the Sask. Party’s failures and total mismanagement of pipelines and highlights the consequences of that failure on both the economy and the environment. 

“Pipelines are the safest way to transport our oil to market but, in contrast to the Alberta government’s success in getting new expansions approved, the Sask. Party’s refusal to be transparent about inspections of the pipelines we do have and failure to keep the public informed of any problems is striking,” said NDP Environment Critic Cathy Sproule. “To ensure success and sustainability, the Saskatchewan people deserve a government that will support our resource sector while also ensuring the protection of the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land where we grow our food. The Sask. Party is failing on all fronts.”

The building of the Keystone pipeline will create jobs and support our local steel industry and, once completed, will indirectly help Saskatchewan oil and gas operators, and provide more provincial revenue as well as higher tax revenues for municipalities and school divisions along the route of the pipeline. 

Yesterday’s revelation of the spill, however, has raised concerns. A Tundra Energy pipeline leaked 200,000 liters of oil last week but the Sask. Party government failed to inform the public and have not said when the pipeline was last inspected. This follows the Sask. Party’s delay in making last summer’s Husky oil spill public and their refusal to release information about inspections done on that pipeline. The independent Information and Privacy Commissioner has said that he disagrees with the government’s attempts to justify their secrecy.

“The Sask. Party’s failures undermine the public's trust in the safety of our pipeline network and ultimately hurts Saskatchewan’s ability to compete in the global market,” said Sproule. “Instead of hiding behind grandstanding and hoping their problems will be overshadowed by the new American President’s latest announcement, the Sask. Party must come clean about the inspections they’ve overseen and develop a strategy that helps Saskatchewan get caught up with the other provinces on both the promotion and protection of our natural resources