Almost a full year after the fact, the Conservatives are changing their tune regarding the reasons behind changes to the Fisheries Act and major water pollution legislation.
A statement on the Conservatives' website outlines the administration’s commitment to Canadian fisheries which entails spending millions of dollars to support scientific activity relevant to the industry, such as “eliminating paperwork for low-risk projects to ensure we can dedicate more resources to protecting real fisheries from major threats.”
The site suggests the real reason for the changes to the Fisheries Act was due to the impracticality of treating all bodies of water “from puddles to the Great Lakes” as if they were the same. The site claims opposition parties are propagating the wrong message about the change.
Companies responsible for two separate oil spills in Alberta failed to provide adequate oversight for their operations, according to federal government documents released by Environment Canada through Access to Information legislation.
The documents detail how Devon Canada and Gibson Energy violated environmental laws, including the federal Fisheries Act, when their operations cause two oil spills into fish-bearing waterways in 2010.
Gibson Energy, a midstream pipeline operator, spilled a few hundred litres of oil into an Edmonton creek after failing to properly abandon an unused pipeline. According to a warning letter issued to the company from Environment Canada, "Gibson Energy ULC made a business decision to keep the Kinder Morgan lateral full of crude oil and to not purge it with nitrogen."