Oral Questions – The Environment


Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, two years after shelving plans for drilling in the Arctic following the disaster of BP in the Gulf of Mexico, it now appears that we are having a new oil rush for the Arctic. It is disquieting since the National Energy Board has relaxed its requirements that would require a same-season relief well in case of blowouts.

How will the National Energy Board eliminate the risk of blowouts during drilling, exploration and development in our most fragile ecosystem, the Arctic?

Hon. John Duncan: Mr. Speaker, the north is home to world-class natural resources, representing tremendous economic growth and jobs potential for northerners and all Canadians. Our government continues to promote investment in northern communities. This is something that the issuance of exploration licences in the Beaufort will help to encourage.

The 2011-12 call for bids for the Beaufort Sea and Mackenzie Delta continues to reflect that potential.