Saskatchewan’s drinking water needs more than a one-off announcement

New Democrats slammed the Sask. Party’s latest attempt to paper over their own failures on pipelines as too little to protect Saskatchewan’s drinking water and too late to do anything about the concerns that already exist following leak in the North Saskatchewan River.

The Sask. Party’s announcement today was that they will conduct a round of one-off visual inspections where pipelines cross sources of drinking water.
 
“We need much more than a round of one-time inspections that feel more like PR management than long-term solutions,” said NDP Environment Critic Cathy Sproule. “The Husky oil spill should have been a wake-up call for the Sask. Party but, instead, they’re hitting the snooze button and effectively leaving industry to keep policing themselves.”
 
Last year, the government of Saskatchewan only conducted 78 pipeline inspections. During the same year, the Alberta government completed more than 2,000. Sproule said the government needs to end the practice of self-inspections for pipeline companies and follow the recommendations of the independent Provincial Auditor and take responsibility for licensing and regulating flowlines in Saskatchewan.
 
“We know that pipelines are the safest way to move energy products across our country but the Sask. Party’s announcement today will do nothing to protect our cities or our farmers. We need a credible approval and inspection system to not only protect our water, air, and soil but also to secure access to new markets,” said Sproule. “The Sask. Party has failed on both these fronts. Now they’re proposing these one-off inspections that aren’t even a Band-Aid solution – unless you count a Band-Aid that has already fallen off and is floating at the bottom of the river.”