Toronto, ON — This report makes it clear that the health and safety of Canadians, along with the air, water and land we depend on, is in serious trouble because of lax oversight and failure to hold big industry into account. Instead of polluter-pays, it’s citizens who would pay for a serious spill or disaster. Major accidents and extreme fossil fuel extraction go hand in hand, and the price tags on these disasters run in the tens of billions. As it stands now, Canadians would be expected to pick up the tab.
In particular, the report’s finding that we’re unprepared to effectively respond to a major offshore oil spill is alarming because it puts our oceans, coastlines and jobs that rely on them at risk. And, Canada is dragging far behind other countries in holding oil companies to account financially. We should have learned a lesson from the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the U.S.: not only did it cause serious and long-term environmental damage, it cost $40 billion to clean up.
To add insult to injury, the report reminds us that the government continues to hand out huge amounts of our taxpayer dollars to subsidize the richest oil companies in the world.
Rather than letting reckless fossil fuel extraction steamroll the interests of Canadians, it’s time to start charting a course toward a clean and safe energy future.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Jen Mayville, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 228; 905-330-0172 (cell) jmayville@environmentaldefence.ca.