Transport safety inquiry into 2010 Kalamazoo oil spill detailed gross negligence

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2021-05-10 17:01 [p.6978]

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot for his speech.

Unfortunately, I will be speaking in English because these are technical issues.

I may be the only member of Parliament who read the entire report of the United States transport safety inquiry into the Kalamazoo spill of 2010 in which it detailed gross negligence. Yes, modern pipeline companies have all sorts of alarms, bells and whistles, which we keep hearing about, that will alert control room staff when there is any possibility of a leak. One alarm from that spill rang for five full minutes, while Enbridge employees went around the control room shutting off the noise. The next shift came in and it was not warned there had been signs of a leak. That is when they pumped over 800,000 gallons of bitumen and diluent into the Kalamazoo River, which could never be cleaned up.

I wonder if my colleague has any further points to add on how this reputation of negligence has undermined Canada’s case.

Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay (Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot)
2021-05-10 17:03 [p.6978]

Madam Speaker, apparently that incident has not changed Canada’s official position. Still today, we see that Michigan has concerns. It was traumatized by this event, there are no two ways about it. All we are doing is unanimously dismissing the fears expressed by Michigan.

Again, it is highly likely that these fears are not entirely justified, but they are legitimate and deserve some consideration, some thought and some close attention. That is my response to my hon. colleague.