Elizabeth May calls for immediate investigation and corporate consequences for Peace River oil spill


Canada’s first elected Green Member of Parliament, Elizabeth May, today decried the devastation created by the Peace River oil spill and called for an immediate investigation and serious consequences for any corporate negligence.

“There has been a violation of the federal fisheries act, not to mention the negligence of failing to notify the public for five days,” said Ms. May. “We need to ensure a full investigation and serious sanctions. Corporate negligence is not deterred without meaningful consequences.”

Under the Federal Fisheries Act, it is against the law to put any substance into water systems that would be deleterious to fish. An estimated 4.5 million litres or more of oil have been spilled into the Peace River watershed since April 29, the largest spill in Alberta in at least three decades. Members of the Lubicon Cree, whose territory has been impacted by the spill, are reporting health effects in the area of Little Buffalo, approximately 30km from the spill site.  Nearly a week after the spill began, the American-owned oil company –Plains Midstream – and Alberta officials have yet announced a cause for the spill.

The Green Party will press for much greater corporate accountability in the fossil fuels industry. This will include rewards for corporate leadership and penalties that create a real incentive to ensure 100 per cent compliance.

“We have 45-year-old pipelines lines like this one running through some of the most ecologically sensitive parts of our country, and the industry wants to build even more. It’s time to take a step back and reassess,”said Ms. May. “Accidents are too damaging to be acceptable in this industry.”