STATEMENT by Senator Larry Smith: Minister of Natural Resources Appears before Senate Question Period

October 16th, 2018 – This week, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources, appeared before the Senate Question Period where Senator Larry W. Smith, Leader of the Opposition, raised critical questions about the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project.
Senator Smith led with a question regarding the Governments absence of serious concern about the management of potential spills of diluted bitumen from tankers in the context of the Trans Mountain expansion.
Research has concluded that the impact of diluted bitumen in a possible spill falls within the range of conventional oil, and therefore conventional clean-up methods are effective. Furthermore, a study conducted by the global risk management consultancy Det Norske Veritas calculated that, with appropriate safeguards in place, the likelihood of any spill (as little as a fraction of one barrel) from the Trans Mountain expansion is about one in every 237 years. The probability of a “worst-case scenario” spill was calculated at once every 2,300 years.

If the Liberal government has no concerns regarding the Trans Mountain expansion and potential diluted bitumen spills in the waters off B.C., it begs the question of why the government is proposing a tanker ban along that province’s north coast – a ban which would severely harm both Alberta and Canada’s energy competitiveness.

We take some comfort in the Minister’s statement that the tanker ban is driven out of concern regarding the lack of infrastructure that leaves the door open to build the infrastructure necessary to establish oil export capacity on Canada’s Northwest Coast.

Amongst other question Minister Sohi was also asked by the Conservative Caucus about the cost of natural gas prices and carbon tax for British Columbia, the cancellation of Energy East and serious concerns over Bill C-69.

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Information (media only):
Karine Leroux
Office of the Honourable Larry W. Smith
Leader of the Conservative Senate Caucus
(613) 996-7068